Activity celebrates 10th year at Frazee High School

Contributed photo
Seniors Clayton Johnson and Bryson Smith work on the Frazee High School robot during a recent competition in Nevis. This is the 10th year that a robotics program has been held in Frazee.

By Barbie Porter


The Frazee High School robotics team is preparing for their first competition of the year.  Advisor Eric Schaefer said the team will head to Grand Forks, N.D. in mid-March.

He explained, the game this year requires a robot built by students to grab a ball the size of a volleyball and shoot it into one of two goals. The taller goal stands at eight-feet, eight-inches. There is also a set of bars the robot will need to climb. 

“The robot can only reach the bar on the bottom, which is the easy part,” Schaefer said. “Getting to the top is the hard part.”

The robotics club recently dismantled the robot they initially built. Schaefer said the team attended a college event and watched a competition. New ideas on how to improve their robot came about. Instead of settling for good enough, the students in the robotics activity started over.

Contributed photo
Jonathan Buhr (11th grade), Clayton Johnson (12th grade) and Josh Boyer (10th grade) work on Frazee’s robot during a recent competition in Nevis.

“We were not as consistent as we wanted, and felt we knew how to improve on that,” the advisor said.

Schaefer tipped his cap to the sponsors, many of which have been with the team for its 10 years of existence. The advisor  who originally brought robotics to the Frazee-Vergas School District took a job in Perham.   Schaefer, a long-time assistant advisor, stepped up to lead the team. 

With years of experience, creating a game plan for this year’s competition was easy. The group built a mock competition arena. There, the robot can be tested prior to the competitions.  

Schaefer said the team has  more than 20 members, of which four are full-time builders, two are drivers and the others help with scouting other teams or the business aspect of the activity.  

After the upcoming event, the robotics team will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., in early April.