Evan Miller, Isaac Aburto-Sanchez, Carlos Thomas, Nathaniel Groth, Josiah Hutchinson, Cecilia Degenhard and T. Pulera represented Shoreland Lutheran as Team 53171A, otherwise known as “Cheese,” at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Dallas.

Shoreland Lutheran excels at VEX Robotics World Championship

Event recognized as the largest robotics competition by Guinness World Records


Loving teachers. Small class sizes. Lifelong friendships. Shoreland Lutheran High School is a Lutheran High School in Somers, affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and operated by a federation of 24 area congregations.

Two robotics teams from Shoreland Lutheran High School joined others from around the world at the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas from April 24-25. The two teams received invitations to the event based on their performance at the Wisconsin State Championship Tournament in March.

Team 53171A “Cheese” included Evan Miller, Isaac Aburto-Sanchez, Carlos Thomas, Nathaniel Groth, Josiah Hutchinson, Cecilia Degenhard and T. Pulera, while Team 53171E “The Aliens” included Carl Li, Jim Xiang, Allen Zhu and Thinh Nguyen.

Team 53171E “The Aliens” placed 18th in the world in the skills competition.

Since August, teams have invested thousands of hours designing, building, redesigning, and programming their robots for competition. Following the State Championship in March, both teams implemented design and programming changes to improve their robots as even stronger contenders on the world stage.

Each team made it to the quarterfinals of their respective divisions — 53171A “Cheese” in the Innovate division, and 53171E “The Aliens” in the Spirit divisions.

Ranked 35th, “Cheese” advanced into the playoffs after being chosen for an alliance by one of the teams in the top 16. The top 16 teams in each division advanced to the elimination rounds, and each team could choose any team from their division with whom to ally.

Evan Miller talks things over with Shoreland Robotics advisors Ethan Hutchinson and Dan Nolte.

Using sales and marketing savvy, Shoreland printed out its qualifications and taped them to bags of Cheetos. After distributing them to the top 12 teams, the Pacers were picked for a pairing with one of the finalists.

Both Shoreland teams finished in the top 160 teams in the tournament, which is in the top 1% of the world! Team 53171E “The Aliens” placed 18th in the world in the skills competition with 361 points.

The VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation brings together the top VEX IQ Competition teams, VEX Robotics Competition teams, and VEX U teams from around the globe to celebrate their accomplishments. Student teams participate in competitions with the goal of being crowned world champions. The VEX Robotics World Championship is recognized as the largest robotics competition in the world by Guinness World Records.

Shoreland’s Pacer Robotics program is the largest VEX Robotics program in southeastern Wisconsin. The program provides students with opportunities to explore and utilize their gifts and abilities within competitive robotics. Since the program’s inception five years ago, the program has grown in both student participation and levels of achievement within the program and beyond. This is the first time a Pacer Robotics team has qualified for the VEX World Championship.

Many of the participants in the Shoreland Pacer Robotics program are also part of the engineering or computer science pathways in Shoreland’s STEM Academy. The STEM Academy at Shoreland Lutheran High School was recently recognized by Project Lead the Way as a Distinguished High School for the third consecutive year. Shoreland is one of only 23 in the state to receive this distinction.

To learn more about Pacer Robotics and the STEM Academy at Shoreland Lutheran High School, please visit slhs.us/stem-academy or contact STEM Academy Director, Tim Mielke at info@slhs.us.