Phineas Rop


Do you have an interest in engineering or robots and enjoy building and competition against other schools? Shakopee High School has a program for you! The Shakopee Robotics Team is funded by Amazon and other small companies.

You may wonder what the Shakopee Robotics team is and how you sign up for it. Erik Lehner, a member of the Shakopee Robotics team, answers all these questions and more.

Q.  What is the Shakopee Robotics Team and what do you do?

Two Shakopee Robots member fixing a robot

A.“We build robots over two seasons, the FTC(JV)  season – smaller robots, and the FRC (V) season – larger robots. There are a lot of competitions that we go to for each season, and there is a national ranking system where if you are ranked high enough, you would go to state or national championship. We are currently in the FTC season with smaller robots. The year specific competition title is called Velocity Vortex. The goal of our robot in the Velocity Vortex is to shoot whiffle ball “Particles” into a basket (“the cap”) – like basketball. We have had competitions in the past months for the FTC season with a catapult system to shoot the particles, and now we are in a stage of redoing our robot. Our robot didn’t work so well so we have disassembled much of our robot and we are re-assembling an alternate shooter system.”

Q. How did you get into robotics?

A.I had a strong interest in building robots and felt that there was no class that pertained just to this so it was a way for me to do what I wanted.”

Q. How do people who are interested in robotics sign up? 

A. “You are able to come to an informational meeting early in the school year. At the meeting, a lot of information is given like meeting days, times, and competition dates. Online, one would go to the Shakopee activities website and pay the fee, then you’re set.”


Q.What kind of competitions are you guys in?

A.  “We are currently in the Junior Varsity season, called the FTC season. In this season, we build robots that are 18” x 18” x 18” that are able to shoot particles into a basket. We compete against other Robotics teams all across Minnesota. The game is team vs team, with 2 robots per team, and you work together to score the most points within a 3 minute period. The season that we are going into is called the Varsity FRC season, and we build much larger robots. This season is about to start with a kickoff video that tells everyone what the FRC game will be.”


Q.When is the next competition?

A. “Our next competition for the FTC season is this Friday, January 6th. It is a scrimmage hosted by the Prior Lake robotics team. We will compete against other cities’ robots. The FRC season is about to start with a kickoff on Saturday, January 7th.”