Camdenton 4-H LASER 3284 robotics team competed at the FIRST World Championships April
24 through 27 at the American Center and Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.

The afterschool Camdenton 4-H LASER 3284 robotics team finished in the top 24 FIRST FRC teams or top 8 alliances in the world over the weekend at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. This was an epic accomplishment for our fourth year of the Camdenton 4-H LASER 3284 afterschool robotics program. LASER 3284 was one of 6 teams that qualified from the 60 FIRST FRC teams located in Missouri to compete at the FIRST World Championships. FIRST FRC has 51,000 high school participants on 2,550 teams from around the world. The FIRST FRC World Championships was comprised of 400 qualifying teams represented by 18 countries. These top teams converged on St. Louis in hopes of advancing from the four 100 team divisions of Galileo, Newton, Archimedes, and Currie to be on the three team alliance that represents their division on Einstein field where each division champion battles for the World Championship crown.

Earning a team trophy and individual medals amongst the older well-established corporate sponsored teams that we aspire to emulate was exciting for students and mentors alike. Being on the number 2 seeded "Finalist Alliance" on Galileo field along with King Tec 2169 and the Fighting Calculators 2175, both from Minnesota, was a great first time experience for the program. The loss in the finals of the Galileo field was a close highly contested battle against the eventual World Champions.

"This was a momentous achievement for our afterschool robotics program, mentors and students. Most teams never earn the chance to compete at the World Championship. For Camdenton 4-H LASER to do this three out of four years is remarkable and a testament to the hard work of our students, mentors and community," Mitch Comer, Head Coach LASER 3284, said.

The Camdenton 4-H LASER team is primarily funded by the Camdenton Afterschool 21st Century Community Learning Center grant monies and some local sponsorship. NASA and Boeing registration grants were secured for this school year, but will not be available in the future. Numerous mentors from local business like Speedline contribute volunteers to mentor the teams.

This Saturday, May 4th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., will be an excellent opportunity for members of the Lake Community to witness the accomplished Camdenton 4-H LASER teams in action at the Ford Drive One 4UR School Fundraiser sponsored by Sakelaris Ford of Camdenton. Come and take a short test drive in a new Ford vehicle located at the Camdenton high school main entrance and earn the LASER robotics program $20 from FORD Motor Company for each test drive. While you're there visit with robotics students and experience the robotics teams from the Camdenton elementary, middle school, and high school programs. You can even test drive the high school robot "Patriot" that just returned from the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis last weekend. Hamburgers and hot dogs for will also be available to purchase in support the Camdenton afterschool robotics programs.