Onabots get big-time support for trip to Houston, Texas

THE PRIDE of Onaway High School, the Onaway Onabots’ robotics’ team traveled to Space City deep in the heart of Texas last week and held their own.

by Peter Jakey—Managing Editor

The Onaway Onabots are back from their trip to the Lonestar State loaded with remarkable stories made possible by the communities of northern Michigan, but especially their hometown.

Team Onabots, consisting of 16 students, three parents and four mentors, traveled to Houston, Texas for the FIRST* world championships from April 17 to 20, for the first time in school history.

While the pride of Onaway High School did not come home with any hardware, the final rankings are sure a lot to trumpet. The Onabots finished ranked as the 752nd team in the United States out of 2,806 and 867th out of the 3,474 teams around the globe. In one match, the Onabots were teamed up with the Orbits from Israel, who went on to win the whole thing.

The journey started early on the morning of April 14 with a send-off complemented by emergency personnel leading the way out of town at 5:30 a.m.

“There were a lot of people in town and not just the parents who just dropped their kids off,” said lead mentor Bryan Pyle. “It was humbling, and the support that we received to get us there monetarily, was huge.”

The final numbers are still coming in, but wh

at is known is that $10,000 was raised in the first two days. However, three times that could show up on the final tally.

“We are at 103 donors, with donations ranging from $20 to $3,000,” said Pyle. “The distances the donations came from, people all the way out in Washington state, Louisiana, Florida. People with zero ties to Onaway were donating to this cause.”

The robotics’ community of Michigan showed tremendous support to make sure nobody was left behind.

“I still cannot get over it,” said Pyle. “For a small community, we do a really good job of taking care of our own.”

(The complete story is printed in the April 25, 2024 edition of the Presque Isle County Advance/Onaway Outlook)