EDWARDSVILLE – Metro-East Lutheran High School’s robotics team is moving on to the FIRST Tech Challenge Illinois state championship after putting in a winning performance at the recent regional qualifying competition.

Twenty-two teams from central and Southern Illinois competed in the First Tech league qualifying tournament last weekend at Maryville Christian School. The MELHS team was one of five teams from the two regions that qualified to move on to the state competition, which will be held on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 in Elgin, Ill.

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In First Tech, students design, build, and program robots to compete head-to-head against other teams. The state championship showcases the best robots from the FTC Qualifying Events held all around Illinois.

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This is just the second year the MELHS robotics team has been competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge. Last year the team won two rookie awards, including the highest-scoring rookie.

“We’re still a very young team and we’re still figuring out what it means to compete in this format, but we’re learning a little bit more every time to get better,” said Tim Lorenz, math and technology teacher at MELHS. Lorenz coaches the robotics team along with Dan Staake. “We have a lot of talented kids on our team, and going to state is a great opportunity for them. Our expectation is to learn and grow a lot in the process so we become even better prepared for next season.”

Metro-East Lutheran High School (MELHS) has been providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment for more than 40 years. For more information about Metro-East Lutheran High School go to www.melhs.org.

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