POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The Iron Mules placed in the top 25 percent of schools in the Midwest during the Missouri FIRST Tech Challenge championship on Saturday, March 7, at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.
The milestone marked the first time the Poplar Bluff High School Robotics Club was eligible to vie in a state competition within just three years of its founding.
"After five rounds of play in which they were as high as fourth place, (following) a couple of mishaps, they ended in 12th place," recapped science teacher Kathy Miller, club co-sponsor. "Fifty teams were competing from all over Missouri, Illinois and Kansas."
In an activity titled the 'Cascade Effect,' participants attempted to earn the most points possible by using their robots to gather different sized plastic balls into rolling goal and then move the goals into scoring zones.
The robot used to perform the tasks was revamped from a tournament qualifier the Iron Mules competed in last month at Cape Girardeau.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit founded in 1989 "to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders" through participation in robotics programs.