Robotics brings bright young minds together to learn, promote teamwork and answer the call for better technology for tomorrow.
Claire Kerbs and Kyle Wuerch know as much.
The Auburn Riverside High School students are aspiring engineers.
Kerbs and Wuerch, two of the top seniors in the Ravens’ class of 2015, discovered the risks and rewards of working with robotics – in the classroom and on the competitive stage.
Such an exercise brought out the best in them. It accelerated learning beyond the syllabus.
“It’s hands-on work, not just from a book, and it is problem solving with others,” said Kerbs, who plans to study mechanical engineering and minor in music at Washington State University in the fall. “You’re rebuilding a lot. … You’re running into unexpected problems.”
Nothing they can’t solve.
Wuerch, for one, wants to learn more. Like Kerbs, he is taking his act to college, where he plans to study computer engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in the fall. He can’t wait to get started.
“What I like is you’re accepted automatically into the program,” said Wuerch, who wants to establish his own business some day.
Wuerch, son of Jayne and Wes Wuerch, blossomed at Auburn Riverside. A 4.0 student, he excelled in math and science. He participated in computer science club and SkillsUSA, a program that helps students become world-class workers, leaders and responsible citizens.
On the tennis court, Wuerch was part of the No. 1 doubles team and helped manage the girls program.
The sport rewarded him in many ways.
“Getting into the tennis program was a good start for me,” Wuerch said. “It helped me get acclimated to high school. … It really teaches you respect with others and to have integrity. … Good people play tennis. They’ve been role models who have helped me develop here.
“Everything seemed to work out for me,” he said of his experience at Auburn Riverside. “I enjoyed the culture of the school … and the opportunity to do a lot of things.”
Kerbs made the most of her time at the school.
She participated in mechanics and music, and shone in both. She also participated in cross country, where she was a senior co-captain last fall, and ran track.
Kerbs, daughter of Chris and Rex Kerbs, is a 4.0 student and a gifted musician.
A classically-trained violinist who has played since she was 8, Kerbs was an all-state and all-Northwest honors orchestra performer.
“I like to play romantic things. It’s really soulful when you play into the string and get a rich tone sound,” she said.
Music and mechanics do mesh.
“Music is an artistic outlet for me, but I really like to work with numbers,” Kerbs said. “I guess there is some overlay in the brain for that.”
WSU encouraged Kerbs to continue feeding her passion for music.
“The violin professor there was the tipping point for me,” Kerbs said of her decision to go to Pullman to further her education.