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Dave Wallis, Published October 25 2010

Portraits: Tristan Anderson

“I like the hands-on work and learning new stuff about tools,” says Tristan Anderson, a 13-year-old eighth-grade student at the West Fargo STEM Center. He is one of about 25 students building a robot for the Bison BEST robotics contest, which is open to middle school and high school students. Each school is given parts and a set of game rules and has six weeks to build a radio-controlled robot with game objectives that change every year. Anderson is part of the team of dedicated students who are working after school and some Saturdays. This is his second year in the competition. “I’m on fabrication and strategy this year. I was a driver (of the robot) and spotter last year,” he says, adding that the STEM school team got second place in the contest. The robot portion of the competition, open to the public, is Saturday at the Fargo Civic Center. Judging of display and oral presentations is on Friday. “Because of the teamwork, we get to know each other a lot better,” Anderson notes. “I like the excitement and pressure of the big day. It’s an awesome sport.”