SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Anonymous donation sends Utah junior high robotics team to world championship

Mar 22, 2024, 6:49 PM | Updated: Mar 23, 2024, 9:53 am

DAVIS COUNTY — A robotics team at North Davis Junior High is headed to the World Championship.

They qualified by taking the state title but faced a big challenge in raising the thousands of dollars to go there. An anonymous donor changed all that.

The fundraising now is just icing on the cake.

North Davis is a Title One school, meaning it’s in a lower-income area, so this is a really big gift for them.

It may look like all Legos and rubber bands, but their robot represents hundreds of hours after school.

Team member Heber Reed said, “And we’d take it home and work on it there.”

“So many times,” said another team member Levi Christiansen.

Heber Reed agreed with a laugh.

The four ninth-graders are getting to know each other very well.

Robotics team member Ashlyn Peterson said, “It’s a lot of fun to build and to code. And again, just to hang out with all of these nerds.”

Also, getting to know Max, the block-collecting, color-sorting robot that’s won them a lot of recognition.

Max dumps blocks

Max shows off his award-winning block-dumping technique. (Mike Anderson, KSLTV)

Peterson said, “The Excellence Award is really your score against everyone else’s score in total.”

They picked up six of those awards, four first-place awards, along with the state title, and a design award.

More than enough to qualify them for the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas this May.

“I’m going to Worlds. It’s a big opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to it,” Christiansen said.

Each of these kids is looking to pursue careers in science and tech.

Nathan Toomey said, “One thing I like with robotics is building things, and that goes well with engineering because you can build things to solve world problems.”

Nathan Toomey and Heber Reed

Nathan Toomey and Heber Reed speak about the long hours they worked on Max after school. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

And just days ago, they weren’t sure if they’d even be able to go. With at least $2,000 per student for expenses, it was a big ask.

“Yeah, it’s life-changing for them. It’s an amazing opportunity,” Christina Brimhall said. She is the robotics team coach. She said an anonymous donor stepped up, giving the team enough to reach their $10,000 goal for the trip.

“We were all in just utter shock. We got that donation,” she said.

Now they’ll get that chance to see how Max stacks up against teams from around the world, and also a chance for a few other firsts.

“You haven’t been on a plane before?” Peterson asked Toomey.

He responded. “Nope.”

“I haven’t either,” Christiansen he said.

The robotics team will have a yard sale in front of the school on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You can help the robotics team by clicking here.

From here, they’re just raising funds to have some tokens to share with kids from other schools and to support the program.

KSL 5 TV Live

Science & Technology

Nearly 4,000 of the new Tesla Cybertrucks are being recalled because the accelerator can become stu...

Chris Isidore and Peter Valdes-Dapena

Tesla recalls Cybertruck due to accelerator pedal that can stick

Tesla has been ordered to recall nearly 4,000 of its Cybertrucks due to an accelerator pedal that can stick in place when pressed down.

2 days ago

Zach Lemann, curator of animal collections for the Audubon Insectarium, prepares cicadas for eating...

Kevin McGill, Associated Press

Would you like a cicada salad? The monstrous little noisemakers descend on a New Orleans menu

They may look like little monsters. And their seemingly endless racket may be a nuisance. But as parts of the nation prepare for the emergence of trillions of noisy cicadas, bug experts say the little creatures can also be a tasty snack.

2 days ago

FILE - The Hyundai company logo hangs over a long row of cars at a car dealership in Centennial, Co...

CNN

Hyundai is the latest brand to pause advertising on X due to antisemitism

Hyundai said on Thursday it paused advertising on X, after an ad from the automaker reportedly appeared adjacent to an antisemitic and pro-Hitler post on the social media site.

3 days ago

Unfounded allegations of students at Mt. Nebo Junior High School dressing up like animals and bitin...

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

No evidence of ‘furries’ in Nebo School District despite allegations, social media firestorm

Unfounded allegations of students at Mt. Nebo Junior High School dressing up like animals and biting, barking, and pouncing on fellow students created a social media firestorm on Wednesday.

3 days ago

Online ‘sextortion’ ended in a tragedy for a Utah family and on Wednesday they teamed up with t...

Andrew Adams

Following online ‘sextortion’ tragedy, family warns others during Roy High training

Online "sextortion" ended in a tragedy for a Utah family and on Wednesday they teamed up with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office to warn other families the same could happen to them.

3 days ago

NASA is seeking innovative methods that could help retrieve samples collected by the Perseverance r...

Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA rethinks plan to return rare Mars samples to Earth

NASA is seeking innovative methods that could help retrieve samples collected by the Perseverance rover on Mars in the future.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Anonymous donation sends Utah junior high robotics team to world championship