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From left, Cedar Falls High School Swartdogs team members Xiang Zhao, Luca Shaw and Molly Hensing move their robot into position and ready for competition during the Iowa regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls Friday.

CEDAR FALLS — Three Cedar Valley teams won awards during last weekend’s FIRST Robotics Competition regional at the University of Northern Iowa’s McLeod Center.

Cedar Falls High School’s Swartdogs Team 525 won the Judges’ Award. This is given to a team whose unique efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition. The team was also part of the three-member finalist alliance.

Bob and Debbie Guetzlaff, who work with the Swartdogs, won the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Margaret Mills, a mentor with Unity4Tech Team 5837, won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. Unity4Tech is a combined East and West high school team based at East. This award is presented to an outstanding mentor who best leads, inspires, teaches and empowers their team using excellent communication skills.

Union High School’s Fiercely Uknighted Nation Team 6630 won the Entrepreneurship Award. This award recognizes a team that has developed a comprehensive business plan to achieve team objectives.

None of the awards qualified the teams to advance to the championship, although the Swartdogs participated in an earlier regional and earned a wildcard bid to the event. The team will participate at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit April 25-28.

FIRST — or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — is the international organization that created the robotic program and competition. It also sponsors other robotics competitions that will be part of the championships.

Other Cedar Valley teams participating in the regional were The Coded Collective Team 6455 from Columbus High School and Moonshot Slaybots Team 6164 from Dike-New Hartford High School.

Six teams advanced to the championship. A total of 27 awards were handed out during the event March 23 and 24. Go online to for more information about which teams won.


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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