State Fair students talk wins (and lines)

Bobby Verhey, Social Media Manager

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Robotics Autonomice take home a blue ribbon

For the first time in team history, the SPA Robotics team was featured at the Minnesota State Fair alongside four other robotics teams. One of the students that represented the team at the fair was sophomore Will Sedo. 

“We were at the State Fair to have another opportunity to show off our robot, and to reach out to a bigger community about robotics,” Sedo said. “Outreach was very important to us for the fair.”

In the competition, Sedo’s team and their robot excelled, taking home a blue ribbon. Sedo said: “There were 5 robots in the competition, and we were one of two teams that won a blue ribbon. It was nice to see our robot get positive feedback.”

After the competition, the team was then able to let young kids play with the robots. “Younger kids got to drive our robots, which was cool to watch,” Sedo said.

Looking back on his experience, he said, “It was a great time and I hope that the team is invited again next year.”

Rindelaub places in horse show

While the SPA Robotics students competed as a team on one side of the Fair, junior Saffy Rindelaub took part in an individual meet on the other side. Rindelaub competed in the horse show at the state fair, facing some of the best riders from around the state. 

She said, “I’ve been riding at the State Fair for the past four years, and it’s definitely something I want to continue to do.”

In the fair horse show, there are two different competitions: hunt competition and jump competition. “I compete in the jumper event,” Rindelaub said.

The difference between the hunter and jumper contests is that the hunter events are scored by judges by how graceful the rider and the horse clear the course of obstacles similar to how a figure skating competition is judged. On the other hand, a jumper event is more like a speed skating event as it is solely based on the time it takes the rider to clear the course.

“I prefer jumper,” Rindelaub said, “because I feel like it’s more exciting.”

In the State Fair competition, Rindelaub finished in second place. “It was really fun and I was pretty happy with the results,” she said.

Bagnoli brothers sell cookies

While a couple of students took part in competitions at the Fair, others used the fair as an opportunity to get a job as the summer wound down. One of these students was junior Michael Bagnoli who, along with his brother senior Thomas Bagnoli, were just two of the many students that could be found working this State Fair at Sweet Martha’s, a well-known spot for its chocolate chip cookies, long lines, and massive revenue.

Michael Bagnoli said, “There’s a lot of pressure to do your job correctly. The lines never end.”

With this pressure, however, Bagnoli is given the opportunity to tackle challenges and connect with new people. 

“You see a lot of people you know. I think it’s definitely good for helping us to learn to work with people you do not know as much. In school, you often work with people you are friends with, but at Sweet Martha’s you work with people who are strangers and often older than you,” he said.

Bagnoli looks back on his time at working at the fair fondly: “It’s a great experience; you interact with so many different kinds of people,” he said. He added that the State Fair is “…like New York City because there are so many people and things going on which was really cool and kept the job interesting.” 

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