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(Back row, from left) Jonathan Miller, Cody Eason, Christian Cmehil-Warn, Sam Traxel, Jocelin Clark, Jessica Foster and Vaughn Albright; (front row, from left) Chang Chi, Diego Rivetti and Bryan Nguyen.

The Poplar Bluff High School Robotics Club—the Iron Mules—qualified for states after just three years of competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge.

The club won its division and placed second overall on Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. The students will go on to compete statewide on Saturday, March 5, at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

“The challenge was quite a bit harder and much more complicated than the previous two years,” said science teacher Kathy Miller, club co-sponsor. “But, we have some amazing kids participating this year!”

Students had to navigate their classroom-assembled robots through a series of obstacles, scoring points by moving items and climbing to different areas throughout the course. The game was called FIRST (for inspiration and recognition of science and technology) Res-Q. A total of 52 schools participated throughout the region.

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The winning robot the Iron Mules assembled after school.

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Poplar Bluff School District

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Tim Krakowiak Communications/Marketing Coordinator Poplar Bluff R-I School District 573-785-1021, ext. 137 www.poplarbluffschools.net/news-bureau/