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Many Students Put Robots to the Test

The TCEA Area 16 robotics competition comes to town, and many students are after first place.
Some future engineers came to Region 16, putting their skills to the test through robots.

More than 120 4-12 graders competed in a robotics competition.

The students designed and programmed lego-based robots to preform specific tasks.

Competitor Lane Hedgecoke says, "you do it all on the computer and then you sync it down onto the motor and it does what you want and stuff.  You can pick how fast or how much of a degree turn you want."

We talked with the TCEA Area 16 director and she says robotics competitions are more than just fun for the kids.

Debbie Boyer says, "it teaches critical thinking.  It teaches problem solving, collaboration with your team.  It also teaches programming skills which is absolutely imperative for our world today."

She says students have the opportunity to compete in a presribed problem contest, and also an open-ended invention contest.

The students use marketing, programming, writing, and construction to find a solution for a problem of their choice.

Mark Herndon says, "it's taking fun and learning and putting it together in one and it's just awesome. "
 
We asked Brock Buckingham and Herndon what they want to be when they grow up.

"An engineer and an inventor."

"Ya, that's what I've always wanted to do.  I'm going to Texas Tech to do engineering."

Students came from Kelton ISD, Canadian ISD, and Canyon ISD to name a few.

First and second place winners will have the opportunity to represent their area in a state competition in Deer Park in April.

3 engineers from Bell Helicopter were judges, and there were also many local educators who helped make the robotics competition possible.

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