The CyberSaders, Catholic Memorial High School Robotics team, in their second year competing, are one of only five teams from the Wisconsin Regional Championships to qualify to compete against teams from around the world at the 2017 FIRST Robotics Championships. The team qualified as the recipient of the wildcard bid, based on the engineering design of their robot, their performance during competition, and presentations given by team members explaining the process and strategy for their design.

Founded in 1989, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) strives to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. The not-for-profit organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, entrepreneurial and life skills.

The FIRST Robotics Competition has student teams perform under strict rules, limited resources, and the guidance of volunteer mentors including engineers, teachers, business professionals, parents, and alums. Teams have just six weeks to build and program robots to perform challenging tasks against a field of competitors. They must also raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and perform community outreach. In addition to learning valuable skills, participants are eligible to apply for college scholarships through the program.

“Last year in our rookie season, the team had the motto, ‘We’ll start from humble beginnings and achieve great things,’” said Brandon Rindfleisch, moderator. “As a first-year coach, I am completely amazed at what our team has been able to accomplish this year. Being only in our second year of existence, becoming regional finalists and earning a wildcard to the World Championships in St. Louis, shows how our team is already achieving greatness. I could not be more proud of this truly remarkable group of students. And I feel honored to be a part of this exciting time in CMH history.”

“For the second year of the CMH Robotics team, the hard work of students and mentors has again led to incredible success,” said President Fr. Paul Hartmann. “Clearly, the educational impact of Memorial ‘Propel,’ our trademarked innovation education model, proves itself in this second invitation to the world championships, as well as our standing as the only team of high schoolers remaining in the Governor’s Business Plan Competition. It is a truly Catholic endeavor to offer a well-rounded education, which produces well-rounded young people, who can have an all-encompassing impact on the world in which they live. As CMH students excel on an international stage, it makes the hard work and investment of the CMH faculty, staff, parents, and donors come to life and impact the world.”