By Tom Ganser


Another year, another victory for Whitewater High School’s Ferradermis (FIRST Robotics team 6574).

FIRST represents For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The WHS team competed at the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee from March 27-30, picking up a second consecutive victory.

This year Ferradermis had its best showing, ending the initial round of qualification matches in the third position in a pool of 54 teams from around the country, along with a team from Auckland, New Zealand.

After an initial loss in the finals, the prospects were uncertain for Ferradermis, but it became clear that a victory could be within reach. The team’s hopes were stoked after it won the second finals match. And a tiebreak match, which ended as a decisive victory for Ferradermis’ second seed alliance, decided the event.

Just as in 2018, Ferradermis qualified for the world championship in Detroit from April 24-27, when it will go head-to-head with other winning robots created by teams from across the continent and the world.

To be regional champions twice in its first three years of existence is an outstanding feat, and Ferradermis has demonstrated consistent growth since its creation.

It has continued to bring together and strengthen its group of student members and adult mentors and has its sights as high as ever for the future.

Ferradermi was first envisioned over the summer of 2016 and became reality when the 2016-17 school year began.

Laura Masbruch, the Whitewater High School programming and computer science teacher, worked with students Roberto Soto and Justin Brantmeier to bring the team together during the fall. By the next spring the team had competed at its first event, the Seven Rivers FRC regional in La Crosse.

The team participated in a number of community events outside of build season, including the Christmas and Fourth of July parades.

The team’s name is based on the Latin stem word for iron, “ferrum,” and the technical term for skin, “dermis,” combined to represent the phrase “ironskin.”


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