Etude cover

Etude Engineers robotics team

MILWAUKEE – Despite being the smallest school in the field, the Etude Engineers robotics team had a strong showing at the FIRST Tech Challenge state robotics competition at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kern Center last month.

Etude came into the competition ranked third in the state, and was second headed into the alliance part of the challenge. Technical issues prevented the Sheboygan school from winning the competition, but the Engineers’ overall performance still established the team as one of the best in Wisconsin.

“They performed extremely well at state. Some changes they had made, such as adding a gripper and adjusting how the robot scanned the field using a camera rather than a sensor, really paid off. They had the highest scoring total in the state for about an hour till (the gripper) broke, but when all the best teams are there that will happen,” said the team’s technical coach Jim Meyer.

The FIRST Tech Challenge is a competition for students in grades 7-12 where teams design, build and program a robot to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Etude’s team consisted of 13 students from both middle and high school.

After beginning the planning and design process in fall, the robot building phase consisted of ordering parts from a specialty supplier and creating parts using a 3D printer.

Once the robot is built, it must be able to move around a playing field both under the remote control of a driver and on its own. The robot must then put blocks and balls into containers strategically placed around the field.

For a small charter school without an athletic program, the robotics team gives students the opportunity to be part of a team and experience high level competition.

To participate, students do not have to be experienced in robotics or computer-aided design, since the team consists of four committees encompassing different skill sets. The committees are business, programming, design and building.

“The building, the designing – I enjoy being part of the team. At this school – we’re a really small school. This is our football team. It’s really exciting to be part of that,” said senior Elise Du Chateau, who manages the budget and secures sponsorships as part of the team’s business committee.

Etude might be a small school, but the performance of its robotics team proves that it belongs on the state’s biggest stage.

Etude Engineers team members (grade in parentheses)                              

  • Spencer Kaufmann (12)
  • Elise DuChateau (12)
  • Matthew Staats (12)
  • Charlie Rechtfertig (12)
  • Alex Moon (11)
  • Jack Karpinski (10)
  • AJ Kaufmann (10)
  • Merrick DuChateau (9)
  • Gavin Koch (9)
  • Comet Pasterski (9)
  • Emma Hovhannisyan (9)
  • Charlie Hamm (7)
  • Sam Brusky (7)

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you