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Kids in family do well in PMC’s robot-naming contest


POCATELLO — For the Mike and Erica Sutton family, of Pocatello, the Portneuf Medical Center’s “Name the Robot” contest was a hattrick. Three of the Sutton's children pulled down first place awards and daughter Elise took the grand prize for naming the surgical marvel. 

“Wanda” is the name the surgical staff at PMC liked the best. Elise, a seventhgrader at Irving Junior High, wasn't sure it was the best of names, but she chose it after thinking about how the remotely controlled arms, or “wands,” on the precision instrument can work magic. 

“They're like magic wands,” she told her mom. 

But it was actually the youngest, Aubrey, a fifthgrader at Indian Hills Elementary, who gets credit for giving her siblings a chance to excel in the contest. 

Aubrey ended up winning the grades 4-6 drawing category. Her brother, Cade, a freshman at Century High, also took home first in the drawings category for grades 7-12. The only non-family member to win first place for drawing in the K-3 category was Krista Hensley, a first-grader at Hillcrest Elementary in American Falls. 

PMC sent home packets for children to participate in the naming contest for its new DaVinci Surgical Robot. The student with the winning name took home $500, as well as $500 to their classroom. 

For the best robot drawing, there were three prizes of $100 that were awarded to the students and their classrooms and second-place ribbons for three others. As Aubrey opened her packet and shared its contents with her mother, her siblings became interested. Mother Erica said Elise was intimidated by the drawing skills of her siblings and felt she didn't stand a chance in the drawing competition. 

When the contest winners were announced, she skipped going to PMC for the awards presentation. That was a mistake. 

“When we arrived, we discovered Elise had won the main prize,” Erica Sutton said. “Is that crazy or what.” 

It was winners all around and Sutton said she's very proud of her children. 

“All three of them are very artistic and very creative,” she said. 

SUBMITTED PHOTO Seventh-grader Elise Sutton, not pictured, won the Name The Robot contest for the Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello. She won $500. Elise named the surgical robot Wanda—because its arms are like magic “wands” and it works miracles every day. Elise’s brother, Cade, right, and sister, Aubrey, left, both won the drawing contests in their age groups for the event. At center is mom Erica.