(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Eagleview Middle School’s Electric Eagles Robotics Team is generating excitement with their first-ever wins, leading to placement at the World Competition in Houston.

“We expected we would be strong enough to make it to State and we put a lot of work into that,” Electric Eagles Robotics Team Head Coach, Michael Anderson, said. “It’s a pretty tight window between regionals and state and so it was really a lot of hard work to get them to a point where I thought we could be competitive at the state level.”

In the fall the team competed in the Colorado State FIRST LEGO Robotics Competition where they won the 1st Place Championship Award and 2nd place overall for the Robot performance.

“I was really surprised, honestly, because, um, we had a good robot run, but not the best at State,” Electric Eagles Robotic Team Member, Matteo Trimillos, said. “So what really it came down to was our innovation project. So, I was really relieved that all of our hard work got somewhere.”

The Academy District 20 team will make a flight down to Houston, Texas in April to compete in a four-day competition against the top 100 teams in the world.

“So, after winning state, there’s so much excitement and they have so many ideas of what we could do to improve our presentation and our robot,” Anderson said. “It’s getting them to focus on a few things… that are tangible, that are able for us to accomplish in the time that we have.”

Robot the Electric Eagle team worked on in Monday’s practice.

The Electric Eagles meet after school to practice for the upcoming competition, work on coding, and go over script.

“So, we’re, right now we’re just practicing like our scripts, memorizing those so we can now use our scripts and strengthening our presentation with visual aids and stuff,” Electric Eagles Robotic Team Member, Alex Winslow, said.

Electric Eagle team at practice on Monday afternoon.

The team is made up of members in different grades who hold distinct passions.

“We have different people, we have people who do Boy Scouts just… if you can think of it, we probably have a person who does it,” Trimillos said. “And that really strengthens us because we have natural born leaders, we have engineers, we have artists, we have just random thinkers who just get stuff done and that’s really what helps us become a successful team.”

Electric Eagle team member smiled in the team’s matching shirts.

Students come together as a team to make the robot successful.

“I think it’s really cool that we have this opportunity here at our school and like Mateo said, everybody from any grade level and any background, like any like artists, engineers, everybody comes in… we do really well together and we work really well,” Winslow said.

Head Coach Anderson shared there is a great challenge in mentoring the middle school robotics team.

“Just leading these middle school kids has been one of the toughest leadership challenges of my life, and that’s after a 20-year career in the Air Force,” Anderson said. “Just because they have so much energy, but getting them, all going in the same direction, rowing in the same direction has been really a struggle.”

One team member worked on coding the robot in practice on Monday afternoon.

While working on the robots, students are able to develop engineering skills and discover passions in the STEM field.

“We teach them how you take a problem that you don’t have ideas how to solve and you brainstorm ideas, how you pick ideas, and really how that engineering process works,” Anderson said. “And I think that I’ve definitely seen sparks in these kid’s eyes where they’re thinking, now I’m interested, maybe I want to work in the space industry, I want to go build robots or even just do any other STEM careers.”

When looking to the future, Winslow said he wants to continue robotics – “I would like to keep doing that and engineering too.”