ATI hosted first robotics championship held in the Texas Panhandle

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CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) -The Amarillo Technological Initiative hosted robotics teams from around the panhandle to participate in the first Robotics Championship held in the Texas Panhandle.

Nearly 30, First Lego League teams gathered inside of West Texas A&M’s Student Center to take part in the Robotics Championship.

ATI board member Jessie Phifer, said kids participating take home various skills they can use throughout their life.

“They learn science, technology, engineering, they learn math,” Phifer explained.

The majority of these skills learned, by working with legos.

“Every robot that they make has to be made out of legos. You can’t add any piece that isn’t legos,” Phifer said.

The event is not just for older kids but for juniors participating as well.

“Juniors, they have to make a “show me” poster, this year it was all about accessibility and building buildings that are sustainable and then they also had to program a robot,” Phifer said.

A robot can be a crane or elevator but making it move is not the only thing they have to do.

“They’re doing table runs for the robots that they’ve actually created,” Phifer said.

The table runs are two-and-a-half minutes and each team creates different missions.

Two FLL participants from Bushland on team Code Red say it is a lot of work and a lot of fun.

“It’s a good opportunity to get out and meet new people and have fun but still compete at the same time,” Taggert Thrash, FLL participant, stated.

“The best part is getting to design, build, and code your own robot,” Jace Fisk, FLL participant, said.

Younger winners received trophies, however, ATI board members said when kids reach high school they can even receive scholarships.

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