Team Neutrino competes at World’s


Team Neutrino at kick off 2017.

Lucas Bleyle, Print Manager

During the FIRST Robotics build season, Boyd Lab is

alive with students operating machinery, designing parts and assembling a complex robot. This group of future engineers are the students who make up Team Neutrino, Story County’s FIRST Robotics team. It’s part of a program called FIRST that provides students from K-12 with opportunities in STEM.

“So in January, there is the kick-off day and on that day we receive this 100 page manual giving us all the rules. Every year there is a different game,” Benjamin Steward said, a member of the team responsible for leading the groups that design and develop strategies for the robot. The task this year is to build a robot that picks up and m

oves gears, fires wiffle balls, and climbs ropes, all the while competing with other teams. More here.

“We have a six week build season in which we are required to build our robot,” Benjamin said. The season starts with writing grants and maintaining relationships with those who sponsored them in the past from places such as John Deere, CIT, and Danfoss.

“Going into it we do a lot of CAD design. Pretty much everything that we put on our robot is modeled beforehand. Then we use a wide variety of manufacturing processes, 3D printing, we use lathes, we use mills, a lot of CNC stuff,” Benjamin said.

This year the team competed at regionals. They were defeated in semifinals, but won the Chairman’s Award which allowed them to move on to World’s. “[The Chairman’s Award] is based on community impact and how you spread engineering and STEM concepts in your community,” said Rucha Kelkar, co-captain of the team.

Although both Benjamin and Rucha are juniors, they mentioned that Team Neutrino has already helped shape their career paths.“It’s inspired me to consider Engineering as a major and strengthened my will to continue helping others discover a passion for STEM,” Rucha said. Benjamin expressed that he had learned many CAD and mechanical skills as well as leadership skills that he could apply later in life.

They will both return to the team next year. Applications and information about next year’s season will soon be out.