Mapleton youths compete in World Robotics Championship

Robotics team - Several Mapleton residents were part of a group of teachers, mentors and students taking part in the FIRST (For Inspiration and RecognItion of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri from April 26 to 30. Local participants included: Shae-Lynn Veldhuis, front row, fourth from right; Matthew Rumph, second row, far right; local mentor Maurice Veldhuis, second row, second from left; and Joel Deen, back row, seventh from right. BOTTOM: The team robot, nicknamed Clyde. Submitted photos

MAPLETON - A group of 36 teachers, mentors and students, including three Mapleton youths, travelled to St. Louis, Missouri from April 26 to 30 to take part in the FIRST Robotics World Championships.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship presented by Qualcomm Incorporated is the culmination of the season’s FIRST programs, bringing together tens of thousands of students of all ages for the ultimate celebration of science and technology.

Over 39 countries participated in the three-day event, with 30,000 youth representing 1,394 teams.

Mapleton youths Joel Deen, Matthew Rumph and Shae-Lynn Veldhuis participated with team 4678, the CyberCavs from Woodland Christian High School in Breslau.

Team members spent six weeks building a robot that would compete in four tournaments and ultimately take them to the World Championships in St. Louis.

Students worked with teachers and mentors to design and build a robot that had to meet the requirements set out by FIRST Robotics and compete in FIRST sponsored events.

At the Waterloo Regional Competition, hosted by the University of Waterloo, the team lost in the finals, but ranked ninth out of 31 teams. It won the Excellence in Engineering Award for its student-designed gear retrieval system.

April 6 to 9, the team travelled to North Bay to participate in the regional competition hosted by Nipissing University.

They won this competition, earning a ranking of ninth in the province. They won the Innovation in Control Award for their gear retrieval system again.

The team then travelled to Mississauga April 13 to 16 to compete in the provincial championships. They made it to the semi-finals and finished 9th in the province out of 145 teams.

The top 30 teams are invited to the World Championships.

On April 26 the CyberCavs travelled to St. Louis, Missouri to compete at worlds. This was the third year the team made it to the World Championships since it was started in 2013.

After qualifying matches the team was ranked 52nd out of 68 teams, but was chosen by the third-ranked team to play together in the quarterfinals. They won the quarterfinal round and also the semi-finals.

After losing two matches in the finals, they were eliminated.

The team thanked local sponsors and families for their support over the season and hope to continue the winning tradition next year.

For more information about Woodland Christian High School or its robotic team, visit