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robotics team with trophy

Westonka Tonkabots Earn State Championship Trophy

By Lorrie Ham, 05/09/24, 8:30PM CDT


The Mound Westonka Tonkabots FIRST Robotics Team was one of 36 teams invited to compete at the Minnesota State High School League’s 2024 Robotics State Tournament.

robotics team with trophy

In a year of firsts, the Mound Westonka Tonkabots FIRST Robotics Team was one of 36 teams invited to compete at the Minnesota State High School League’s 2024 Robotics State Tournament on May 4 for the first time in program history. Not only did they compete, they won 11 of their 12 matches and emerged as state champions in an alliance with teams from Becker and St. Peter.

The Tonkabots competed as alliance captains for the first time, which gave them the opportunity to choose their alliance teams. This year’s competition was CRESCENDO presented by Haas. At the event, competing alliances were invited to score notes, amplify their speaker, harmonize onstage and take the spotlight before time ran out. Alliances earned additional rewards for meeting specific scoring thresholds and for cooperating with their opponents.

“The Tonkabots didn't settle, they kept trying to find ways to improve throughout every match and the results proved to be very successful,” said advisor Dale Kimball.

The state championship comes on the heels of the Tonkabots’ trip to the world competition in Houston, Texas in April, where they finished 22nd of 75 teams in their division.

The team had 41 members this year, the largest they have had to date.  Kimball thanked the team’s adult mentors for their support, guidance, and dedication to the program for helping guide the team to a successful season.

“It was such an exciting season with a lot of firsts for this program,” said Kimball. “We are all excited to see what we can do next year.”

The FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. The competition inspires innovation and leadership by teaching STEM, teamwork, and problem-solving skills through engaging, hands-on robotics challenges. Teams of 10 or more students are challenged to design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a 120-pound robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. To learn more, visit the FIRST Robotics website.