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Robots return to Alpena this spring

ALPENA — Alpena High School will welcome 40 robotics teams from around the state for two weekends this spring.

The school received news last week that it will once again host two For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competitions in the spring. The competitions happen March 26 to 28 and April 2 to 4.

It will be the second straight year the high school has hosted two competitions.

Principal Tom Berriman said the school knew early in the summer it might host two competitions and received news last week that it was official.

“We did it as a favor to FIRST Robotics last year, but we pulled it off and, apparently, they liked the job we did,” Berriman said Monday. “This year, they came right to us and asked if we wanted to do two. The fact that they came right to us and asked us to do two right off the bat just shows what we’re all about.”

Unlike the past two Novembers, the school will not host an offseason competition this fall because it wants to maximize its resources in the spring, Berriman said. He said the school doesn’t want to stretch itself too thin by hosting an offseason competition and turn around for the spring competitions.

“It’s just exciting,” he said. “We love having it here. It’s a different energy in the building when you get this many people here. We’re excited to have it back and it shows that we pulled it off last year.”

The school was the first to host two robotics competitions in the same season last year. Berriman said doing that in back-to-back years is special and it never happens.

The competitions are at the beginning and end of spring break. Berriman said the competitions won’t disrupt the flow of a school day.

“It worked perfect for us,” Berriman said.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.