The PHS robotics team finds success at the Wyoming State Tournament


Photo Courtesy of Mr. Hayano

The team 3189 (RUD) will be advancing to the Worlds competition in Austin, TX after winning the Wyoming State tournament.

Robotics is all about finding new ways to solve problems, building structures, and can only be done if you are more intelligent than others. This is what most people think of when they hear the word “robotics.” If these people looked at the PHS Robotics teams, they would be surprised to find out that this stereotype is quite far from the truth.

On Feb. 17, the Robotics Club left for the Wyoming State Championship located in Casper. Due to weather delays, the teams were still unsure about leaving until 2:30 pm.

“We ended up traveling to Buffalo [to spend the night] and then almost to Gillette,” Robotics, math and technology teacher Mr. Joel Hayano said. “We had to travel a roundabout way to get to Casper, but it was worth it.”

At state, Powell had two teams place in the top four before heading into the semifinals. Those two teams were 3189 RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) and 10731 Radioactive composed of (10731 – juniors Kik Hayano, Emma Johnson, sophomores JJ Gardner, Isabelle Lobinger, and freshman Katarina Reitz. 3189 – junior Elias Brower, sophomores Dallin Waite, Alan Crawford, Dexter Opps, Lukas Legler, and freshman Mason Coombs, Brighton Streeter) RUD was the only team to advance to the finals and subsequently resulted in a 1st place win in the last match of the 2023 Wyoming season. With that first place win, this has now granted them to compete in FIRST FTC National Championship, also nicknamed Worlds.

“We had first place and third place teams which then picked our other [two] teams to be in their alliance…for the semifinals and finals,” science teacher and robotics mentor Mrs. Lenita Moore said. “Team 3189 also won the Inspire award which is actually more important than actually winning the tournament.”

For a large majority, this group of teenagers enjoyed their time at state and are looking forward to preparing for their next competition. For RUD, their next competition will be in several months, which will be held in Houston, Texas. Another priority lies within the continuation of fundraisers, where the upcoming one yields a lot of fun for whoever participates. 

“The Duck Race is a fundraiser for our robotics that’s really expensive,” junior Kiyoko Hayano said. “We dump a bunch of rubber ducks in the lazy river at the [Powell Aquatic Center] pool, and whoever wins gets prizes.”

The Robotics Club has been doing the Duck Races as a fundraiser for a while and it has always been a great success. This year the races will take place on Feb. 28 at 5:30 pm.