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Montana robotics team headed to World Championships for second time

The Eureka Robotics Team is once again headed to the World Championships
Eureka Robotics Team
Posted at 6:42 AM, Feb 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 08:42:48-05

EUREKA — Eureka, Montana and Houston, Texas are 2,000 miles apart but the robotics team in Eureka is closing that divide and soon will head south to represent Big Sky Country in the Lone Star State at the national level.

It's something the team has done before.

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, and I told them that you've been practicing and working on this robot since September. So you have the preparation and Saturday is your opportunity. And it turned out that it was, so they got lucky and they were prepared. And so now we're going to Worlds,” said Eureka Robotics Teacher Rob Reynolds.

With a little luck, a lot of preparation and hard work, the Eureka Robotics Team is headed to Worlds for the second time. They beat 24 other Montana teams in the robot games competition at the State Championships in Bozeman securing their spot in Houston in April.

“It's pretty incredible. I started out freshman year kind of expecting this to be kind of like, you know, the starting out year. I'm not really going to win any big awards or anything but you know, I'm gonna get to learn how everything works and get going, said Eureka Robotics team member Erin Gimello. "And we're getting like, you know, one of the number one spots in the state, it's just incredible and we get to go meet people from other countries and compete against them. It's just amazing,”

As they prepare for the World’s competition, their work is not over, as they continue to work on the design of their robot.

“We had to go through several claw designs to try to get what we have now and we're making a new claw design to make it more efficient,” said Eureka Robotics team member Joe Bourassa.

Due to minimal funding from the school and grants, the team will need to raise a lot of money to get ten students to Texas this year. And in Eureka, the community really steps up to help the team.

“It's amazing how the community just comes out of the woodwork to support us. We got back from the state championship last weekend so — hardly a week ago. We haven't even started our fundraising campaign yet," Reynolds told MTN. "We're still putting together packets to send out to future donors and organizing fundraisers and things like that. And money's already started coming in."

The small team is successful for many reasons, one of those being the middle school robotics team is a feeder program for the high school. It all comes down to the students who participate in the six-month extracurricular activity.

"It's quite a commitment for them to give up some of those things in order to stay on a team and continue participating. So they have a huge level of commitment to the program. And that's made us successful,” said Reynolds.

The Eureka Robotics Team will host several fundraisers to help them get to Worlds. The first one is a fish fry on February 21. Visit to learn about future team fundraisers.