Mankato West Robotics

Mark Zenk

​High School Head Coach​

22nd Year at Mankato West

10th Season Of Coaching Robotics

Rachel Arndt

High School Assistant Coach

2nd Season of Coaching Robotics


​​​Coach Zenk was the main advocator to start the Mankato West Robotics program ten years ago. He has been the coach since day one and enjoyed every minute. Coach Zenk has witnessed the program grow from one team of six students in year one to 8 teams with 48 students this season. Coach Zenk's main goal of every season is to promote VEX Robotics to schools and the community all around MN. Coach Zenk also strives to run a quality regional tournament in Mankato every year and helping mentor other Event Partners to run their own tournaments. The goal for all the teams is to compete at a high level and reach the MN state tournament and qualify for the World Championships in Louisville, KY.

Mike Lord

High School Assistant Coach

4th Season of Coaching Robotics


Kristen Olinger

Middle School Head Coach

 3rd Season of Coaching Robotics


Mike has worked at Ford Motor Company for 13 years, on automated machines and robots. He has also worked on factory maintenance for 32 years. He has been a hospice volunteer. He enjoys volunteering in the classroom for engineering, robotics, and mechatronics. He wants to help support the Vex Robotics teams in any way possible.

Coach Olinger is in her third year of coaching Robotics, she does most of her work with the high school teams. She teaches Business Education at Central High School, and wants to help the middle schoolers develop good skills like managing tasks and being organized.

Coach Rachel has been coaching for the Mankato West Robotics program for two seasons now. She was previously a part of the program as a student, and has now come back to give back to the program and allow for new students to have a good experience.