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Regional robotic competition to draw teams from five states

Pamela Knudson

Forty-seven robotics teams are expected to compete in the inaugural FIRST Great Northern Regional competition Friday and Saturday at the Alerus Center. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

This will be the first regional robotics competition held in North Dakota, said Mike Voglewede, coach of the Team 876, or "Thunder Robotics," which includes about 40 high school students and 10 mentors from Aneta, Hatton and Northwood.

Team members have designed and built a robot they've named "Ed" in honor of their mentor, the late Ed Wheeler. The robot should be able to grab power cubes and lift them into a designated place, Voglewede said.

In the robotics competition, high school students showcase their knowledge and skills in science, mathematics and technology.

The teams that gather this week at the Alerus represent schools in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri but teams from other states may participate.

Other area teams planning to compete include Thief River Falls, Greenbush, Badger, Warroad and Cass Lake, Minn. and Cando, N.D., Fargo and West Fargo, Voglewede said.

The students will compete to earn a spot at the international FIRST Championship events in April at Houston and Detroit.

The public is invited to attend the free event. Teams compete about once each hour, from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

More than 300 fifth-grade students from northeastern North Dakota will get a close-up view of job opportunities in the health care field at a health career awareness camp March 22 at Devils Lake.

The event, called the Rural Collaborative Opportunities for Occupational Learning in Health, or R-COOL-Health, is designed to increase awareness, interest and understanding of health careers in North Dakota.

Students from Devils Lake, McVille, Edmore, Fessenden-Bowdon, Lakota, Maddock, Minnewauken, Rolla, Munich, Langdon, Starkweather, Fort Totten and Wolford are planning to attend.

This is the 10th year the camps have been offered, with funding by the Center for Rural Health at UND. They are conducted in 11 communities across North Dakota.

Collaborating organizations include Altru Clinic Devils Lake, Bell Drug, CHI St. Alexius Health Devils Lake Hospital, Devils Lake Public Schools, Forward Devils Lake, Lake Area Career and Technology Center, Lake Region Search and Rescue and Lake Region State College.

Maia Jackson and Sean King, members of the Grand Forks Youth Commission, attended the 2018 Main Street North Dakota Summit on Feb. 12-13 at Bismarck.

At the summit, the Grand Forks Central High School students and others shared ideas on how to engage community leaders, entrepreneurs, students and citizens in envisioning North Dakota's future.

They met with local and national community development experts and advocates who described best practices and invited students to voice their thoughts on how to create healthy and vibrant communities in North Dakota as a means of retaining young people in the state.

The event was hosted by Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

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