Klamath Falls robotics competitor heading to world championship

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A high school student from Klamath Falls comes out on top in a statewide robotics challenge–and now, he’s headed to an international competition.

Jeremy Sonneman’s fascination with robotics began with a childhood love for Legos. “When I saw the robotics program my sophomore year, I said, ‘I gotta do this!’ This is exactly what I want. Its like Legos for adults, but it’s so much cooler.”

Sonneman recently competed in a robotics competition in Salem.

“Jeremy won the platinum division,” said robotics teacher Laura Nickerson. “So, you could say he’s the best of 70 robots, and all the robots, out of Oregon.”

A Mazama High School senior, Sonneman hasn’t always come out on top.

“I was last place in my first competition,” added Sonneman. “And I saw the worlds, and I was thinking, ‘This is amazing, I’ve got to do it, this is crazy.’ And I obsessed about it ever since.”

Jeremy is now headed for the VEX robotics championships in Kentucky next month.

“It’s coming April 19th,” Sonneman said. “It’s really close.”

“I have not ever taught someone who loves something so much,” Nickerson said. “I had to get special permission for him to stay late at night, because I couldn’t stay as late as he needed to stay.”

Jeremy’s next challenge is to raise money to attend the world competition.

If you’d like to help, here’s a link to his ‘Go Fund Me’ page:  www.gofundme.com/jeremys-trip-to-vex-worlds

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle's job history is quite colorful. 

He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.

"The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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