The North Dakota Space Grant Consortium traditionally sponsors three to five high school teams each year to participate in FIRST Robotics. Teams that have received funding for the FIRST regional tournaments include: Surrey, New Town, Alexander, Rugby, Cando, May-Port-Clifford-Galesburg and Northwood-Hatton-Aneta, West Fargo High Schools, and the Northern Lights Boy Scouts in Minot. Space Grant sponsors each team with partial or full registration funding for a FIRST regional tournament. Additional funding is provided if one of the North Dakota teams qualifies for the national tournament.
FIRST Robotics is a wonderful program that gives students hands-on experience with computer science, engineering, technology, outreach, and teamwork. It is very time consuming, but rewarding for the students, faculty, their families, and communities. Our hardworking teams from North Dakota have been very successful in the competitions because they have the support of not only Space Grant and their respective schools but of their entire communities as well.
In 2014, one of the West Fargo Taurus Robotics Team members, Rit Bezbaruah, was selected as a Dean's List Finalist and invited to compete at the national level. This award "celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for, and effectiveness at, attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary." Congratulations to Bezbaruah who was one of two recipients selected out of a total of 114 applicants.
In 2015, both the Northwood and West Fargo teams qualified for the National Competition and performed exceedingly well. Congratulations to West Fargo (The Herd) for earning the title of Regional Champions at the Duluth, MN competition out of 63 teams! Congratulations to the Northwood (Thunder Robotics) on placing 3rd at the Regional Competition and receiving the Engineering Inspiration Award at a second regional competition in Peoria, IL.