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Published May 18, 2009, 10:23 PM

Northern Cass students to compete in construction challenge

Gardner, ND (WDAY TV) - Their classmates will be taking finals tomorrow morning while a group of high schoolers from Northern Cass will be boarding a plane to Knoxville, Tennessee. The five students will be competing in the national construction challenge finals there. WDAY 6 Reporter Christina Vaughn shows us more of the robot students spent a month and a half building and will enter in the finals this week.

By: Christina Vaughn, WDAY

Gardner, ND (WDAY TV) - Their classmates will be taking finals tomorrow morning while a group of high schoolers from Northern Cass will be boarding a plane to Knoxville, Tennessee.

The five students will be competing in the national construction challenge finals there. WDAY 6 Reporter Christina Vaughn shows us more of the robot students spent a month and a half building and will enter in the finals this week.

Jacob Longlet knows what trial and error is all about, helping his team construct a working robot from a few pieces of wood, metal, and wires.

“Probably spent over 20 hours this weekend, finishing it.”

“Just taking weight of things we didn't need.”

It hasn't been easy for this group of students, getting it all to work right has taken a lot of time, but as they look at the finished product the students say they feel satisfied.

“Pretty rewarding I think, just because we got it working maybe a week ago I think.”

The robot's task is to divert water, using its electric arm it will pick up pieces of debris on a course, helping water flow in the right direction.

“Just kind of built it to function, we didn't try and make it look real snazzy and stuff, but we made it work.”

Students say this project has taught them technical skills they can use for a future job, but they say they've also learned lessons not taught in a classroom.

“Teamwork has probably been a big thing, because my brother's on the team, and he's the one that worked with me pretty much all weekend. It really helps to learn that stuff, how to work together.”

With a first place title already under their belts from the regional contest in Minneapolis, the students are hoping for a similar turnout in Knoxville.

“And have fun, that's all I think we should try to do.”

As they gear up to compete against schools from across the nation this week, students say they hope their hard work pays off, a chance to make North Dakota proud.

Sponsors are helping students finance the trip, but they still need to cover the cost of three plane tickets. The school is letting them work with a deficit and raise the rest of the money next fall.

The construction challenge is split up into three parts, the boys in the group built the robot, and the girls will present the idea.

They're project is about the conditions of Cass County roads after the flood. Students took footage of damaged roads and will use that and a brochure they made as part of the presentation.

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