Two NPS Students Qualify for National SkillsUSA

Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) is pleased to share that two of our students, John Mann and Tyna Schmidt, will be competing at the National SkillsUSA Competition this year. The SkillsUSA National Conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia June 20-24th. Tyna and John were also the State Champions in 2021. 

The event is titled “Robotics: Urban Search and Rescue Challenge”. A two-member team builds a robot and arm mechanism prior to competing and during the competition, remotely operates the robot. The robot should be capable of locating, grabbing, and moving simulated ordnances on the challenge course. This remotely operated vehicle (ROV) must traverse the course, locate the ordnances, secure them, and properly dispose of them. Each team will perform one round of competition consisting of a time limited mission to locate and dispose of two ordnances.

Both of the students attributed their interest in robotics to the Aftershock Program which they participated in at the Junior High School. 

“I actually first got into robotics in an afterschool program called Aftershock. At the time of my student participation it was a brand new thing that they were trying out. It was my first taste of coding and engineering a robot on my own and with my friends. After moving up to High School from the Junior High I had started volunteering for Aftershock, and was later hired on,” said student Tyna Schmidt. 

“Personally I'm excited to travel, it will be a long bus ride but the trip full of other SkillsUSA students should be really fun. I'm also really excited to get to meet all sorts of different people. I got started in robots in the 2nd semester of my 8th grade year. I made it to Nationals with half the time of the other teams and went on to compete. In the finals section of that event we ended in the top 20; since then I've been hooked on robotic and mechanical engineering,” expressed student John Mann.