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West High robotics team competes in World Competition

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A team of about 30 students competed in a world competition in Texas

(KUTV) A team of West High School students are competing against students from around the world in a world robot competition.

Team members had 6 weeks to build the robot and after ranking first at a competition in Boise, Idaho. These local teens pitted their robot against the best of the best at the world competition in Texas over the weekend.

“It's the first time our team has ever won a competition and it's the first time we’ve been to the world festival in 10 years,” said August Muller, 10th grade student at West High School.

Muller says the team of about 30 students only had 6 weeks to build their bot.

“We clocked basically as many hours as we can. We stay after school every day and we come in on weekends. We'll stay as late as 10:30pm on the final days, trying to get it done,” she described.

Working as a team, these students built a 4-foot square robot with the ability to catch objects and place them on hooks.

“Our robot can climb a rope on the airship that's in the middle of the field and that's like kind of our main thing our robot can do,” said Benjamin Kida, 12th grade student at West High School.

Kida says the goal of the robot is to power propellers on an airship.

“You have this airship with 2 human players on it. They have to collect gears on it from the robots to power propellers which they need to spin them,” Kida described.

Physics teacher Enrique Arce-Laretta says this is a big deal for these students.

“It’s an amazing thing. Every single year there's a new competition,” he said. “This is an opportunity for kids in the classroom to get hands on.”

And for some students, starting with robots is just the beginning of their STEM future.

“It’s helped me a lot, just thinking about things conceptually,” Kida said.

“I’m definitely looking into a career in mechanical engineering because of robotics,” Muller says.

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