The Litchfield High School Robotics Team recently excelled during a state competition in Duluth and will be heading to a national competition in St. Louis at the end of April. Thirteen students will be making the trip.

Instructor John Spanos says Robotics is an extra-curricular activity that has been offered the past 7 years at Litchfield High School. He says he had a mentor from the New London-Spicer School District who helped him get the program started, and there are 5 mentors from the Litchfield community who help him work with the students.

Spanos says the program is part of an organization called FIRST which promotes science and technology skills and teaches the students about engineering, programming, mechanics and electronics. He says students all over the world participate and they have about 6 weeks during the winter months to get a certain task accomplished.

Spanos says the national competition is the same as the state competition and nearly 1400 teams from all over the world will be participating April 26th through the 29th. He says robotics team members are able to see how robotics is used in the workplace.

Litchfield High School junior John Kiehn says he’s been on the team since he was a freshman. He says their robot completes a series of tasks and climbs a rope at the end.

Kiehn says during the “build season” which is the winter months, the students meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3-to-6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-to-8 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.

Litchfield High School Senior Tyler Sangren says he joined the robotics team last year. He described what the robot looks like during an interview on Friday on KLFD.

Sangren says he is planning to major in engineering in college so being on the robotics team is helping him practice those skills. For more information about the program, go to