North Branch Robotics takes second in vault at World’s

North Branch/Chisago Lakes Robotics Team 3038 competes at the World Championships in Detroit April 25-28. The team wound up taking second in the vault portion of the competition.


High School Robotics Team 3038 from North Branch and Chisago Lakes High Schools had a successful trip to the World Championship in Detroit April 25-28. The World Championship was host to over 400 teams from over 36 countries including Russia, Japan, Poland and China. Minnesota alone had 30 teams.  

We started our journey by getting a warm send-off and being escorted to the interstate by the North Branch Police and the fire department. 

Our team finished in a 3-way tie for second in the vault component of the Power Up Challenge. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition for Science and Technology) challenge this year was called Power Up and it was based on 1980s video games.  

There were four challenges: 1. Pick up blocks and lift them into a scale; 2. Lift blocks into a lower switch; 3. Hang your robot off the ground; 4. Put blocks into a vault for various “Power Ups” for the items you control.  

Team ICE focused on putting blocks on the switches and the vault.  Game play started out with a practice round Wednesday night, five rounds on Thursday and five rounds Friday. 

The semifinals were held on Saturday followed by the final match held on Ford Field (home of the Detroit Lions).   

Team 3038 started out winning our practice and first round, but we ran into some stiff competition for the rest of the rounds that day.  Our team learned how to work with teams that didn’t understand the strategy of the game, which led to a couple of losses. 

Friday we had a great start with a big win followed by a loss, a win, and two more losses. We were hopeful that we would be selected for the final alliances since we were ranked second in the world for the vault. 

Although this didn’t happen, the team was still proud of their accomplishment of making it to the World Competition. 

Between the final rounds, the team was able to explore Detroit. The team enjoyed the GM building with all of the new GM vehicles, including the new 100-year edition Chevy pickups and the Hot Wheels edition Camaro. The students also enjoyed walking the river walk along the Detroit River watching the fishermen pull in some walleye and the occasional salmon.  

We are not done with our robotics season yet. We will be competing at the University of Minnesota’s 3M Arena for the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament on Saturday, May 19. The event is free, and we would love to see you come out and support our team.  

We are also looking for sponsors and community members who would like to share their expertise with us. Robotics, just like the business world, is constantly changing to keep up with the current demands of the world, so with the help of people in the manufacturing communities they can help grow these young minds for the future. If you are interested, please contact us at 

Jenel Korkowski is the new advisor for the robotics team and a second grade teacher at Sunrise River Elementary School. 

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