DENVER — A member of Denver High School’s robotics team won an award last month at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit.
Junior Karris Krueger, part of Cybots Team 5975, was among 10 winners from across the country of the FIRST Tech Challenge Dean’s List Award. Ten more winners were named from teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
FIRST — or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — is an international organization that created a number of student robotic programs and competitions. The award recognizes effective student leaders who embrace FIRST’s ideals.
“It was pretty hard to believe,” said Krueger, noting the “really, really slim chance” of winning. “I was not expecting it at all.”
She was nominated by the members of her team and interviewed by Cedar Valley robotics contest organizers. A team mentor wrote a recommendation about Krueger’s leadership qualities and characteristics as she advanced to the state level. Of 40 candidates at the state level, she said four of them were picked to advance to the world event.
In later July, Krueger and the other Deans List awardees will meet with FIRST founder Dean Kamen in New Hampshire. They also will attend a two-week summer STEM camp at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.
FIRST also will write a letter of recommendation to the college of the student’s choice. In addition, Dean’s List winners can compete for scholarships at a number of universities.
Krueger wants to study architecture in college. “I think I’ll go to Iowa State, but a scholarship could convince me to go to where the camp is held,” she said. Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers some scholarships for full tuition, room and board to successful applicants who are active on FIRST robotics teams.