Central Texas student compete in robotics competition - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Central Texas student compete in robotics competition

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

Middle and high school students from Bridgeport to Hutto went head to head in a robotics competition at University High school on Saturday.

The Texas Best Game Day began at 9 a.m. starting with exhibitions and interview judging.

Matthew Puente and Victoria Rodriguez, sophomores at University High School, had been waiting for competition day since they started building their robot six weeks ago.

"We worked very hard," Rodriguez said. "We came in everyday after school till six and worked non-stop."

"I feel like we're very confident in our robot and I think with all of the time we put into it, I think we are ready to go," Puente said. 

Puente and Rodriguez participated in the Heart of Texas B.E.S.T, or booting engineering, science and technology robotics program.

The program includes a contest where middle and high school students can take part in a simulated "real world" engineering and business experience.

Back in early September, partners from Texas state Technical College gave each team the materials they needed to put together their robots.

Every team was given the same tools to make the playing field even. Volunteers from TSTC and Mclennan Community College helped run and judge the event.

The competition included five different elements. Teams were all judged on marketing, an engineering notebook, robot head to head, an exhibit/interview and team spirit.

The 2015 course theme was a Pay Dirt scenario. A mine collapsed with five lucrative materials trapped beneath. the student's job use their robots to repair the mine and grab all of the elements inside. .

Two students per team were allowed on the floor at a time. One was the coach and the other held the robots controller.

"I kind of want to be an architect so the engineering it will kind of help me get into college and it's fun overall," Crawford High School freshman Trevor Leigh said.

District officials said the competition was a learning experience and provided students with skills they will need for the future no matter what career path they choose.

"They need the ability to work as a team," Donna Mckethan, Director of Career and Technical Education for WISD, said. "They also need experience in problem solving and so this competition does all of that. in six weeks they have come together as a team, they have to find each others strengths and weaknesses."

Out of the 26 teams, the three best overall and two head to head winners will move on to the Texas Best regional in Dallas on Nov. 14 and 15.

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