Shawn O’Brate

Assistant Coach Richard Winn worked with Wyoming Indian Robotics team member Alicia Sanchez. (Photo by Sarah Elmquist Squires)

CASPER – Over the course of this school year there have been plenty of extracurricular activities that get students involved with things outside school and sports, but none truly compare to the Robotics Club as it not only teaches coding and engineering but includes plenty of fun while doing so. 

This past weekend the Wyoming Indian Robotics team sent three separate teams to Casper, each team with their own robot made to complete a certain task. After getting up and driving to the tournament at 5:30 a.m. after roads were closed the Robotics Head Coach Scott Krassin was excited to be one of 18 teams who made it, including a team from Dubois. 

The objective of the state tournament was given to the teams months prior, giving them time to make the best robots possible. All three Wyoming Indian teams had to build a robot that could lift and place a cone on a 30-inch pole, sliding and lifting to completion in as few moves and little time as possible. 

All three Wyoming Indian teams made it to the semifinals at the tournament, with the boys’ team making it to second place at the end of the weekend. 

“The scrimmage in Powell, the play days with Wind River and Dubois, everything we did to get everyone together and figure out strategies and such … it was all worth it,” Coach Krassin said. 

Seniors Darius Boyer and Travis Shakespeare were part of team 16223, also known as team Big Ounce, ended up making the championship round and finishing just shy of the top spot but that doesn’t sour Coach Krassin’s spirits or those of the members. Team 15604, also known as the A Team, consisted of sophomores Alianna Brown, Adinideen Willow and senior Alandra Brown, finished as semifinal round qualifiers and look toward the future after such a strong showing alongside team 20206, team name Achilles Emeritus. 

But the future does not have to be so far away, especially for Coach Krassin’s team that does more than just build robots all year round. 

“Our teams have finished their official season and now we will begin doing outreach work at local schools to promote development of robotics programs within the country,” Coach Krassin stated. “Our first project will be to establish a robotics program for third through fifth grade students at Wyoming Indian Elementary School.”

The team not only works on building the robotics program within their Ethete community, but they also go out to Washakie and Arapahoe schools to give performances. This all goes hand-in-hand with state as the tournament does not only give out trophies for robots, but for their community impact as well. 

“It’s about the bigger awards like community service and motivation,” Coach Krassin said after one of his teams won the motivation award. “We’re going to start going after those more often … to earn those awards like the Inspire Award, means we’d go to the Worlds Tournament with the first-place teams.”

Coach Krassin’s team has done plenty to be proud of over the past few years with events like their Christmas Tree Raffle that raised $1,068 or the starting of the Wyoming Indian High School Food Bank. Not only that, they also take their robots to elementary schools and teach robotics in the spring. 

You can help the robotics team on their mission to win community outreach awards, alongside their robotics awards, at their next banquet on March 15.