Robotics gets boost in Texoma

Teams stepping up on statewide and global stages

Robotics in Texoma

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Lego competition focuses on a real-world application.

For the Vernon kids, they focused on redesigning downtown, working with city officials to be as accurate as possible.

“Last year’s theme was space and they had a fabulous project about virtual reality on the space station but are they going to get to see that in real life, maybe maybe not, probably not, but this hopefully they’ll get to see the ground break and see this dream come true,” Vernon Boys and Girls Club head coach Meg Heatly said.

At high schools, like Iowa Park, Burkburnett and Dexter Learning, teams are competing in VEX.

VEX uses metal parts and motors rather than plastic like LEGO.

They build a robot to move cubes into towers and corners to score points in the Tower Takeover game.

“In our first competition, we went from 24th place to third, in our second competition,” Dexter team leader Gabriel Bentley said.

While the focus of both competitions may seem to be building and programming the robots.

Where the points come in are from other places, like presenting the robot to judges and explaining their plans and ideas.

“They’re great at figuring out each other’s strengths and witnesses and working together to move forward with that,” Heatly said.

While teams are against one another, that doesn’t stop them from helping each other when it’s needed.

“At the competitions, if you need, say a 1.25-inch screw, you can go around and ask ‘Hey do you have this,’ and they’ll be like yes or no, and if it’s yes you get a screw,” Bentley said.

As the lego team prepares for the world festival they hope to learn more from the other teams from around the world.

“Just broadening their own views of what the world is and what they’re really like,” Vernon assistant coach Arrin Brummett said.

As the Vex teams continue to work towards qualifying for state this weekend to join the four Iowa Park and one Burkburnett teams that have.

“Our team is not like other teams, I know you probably had a coach or a mentor for your robotics, we don’t have that because I’m the most experienced with vex at this entire school so we’re very self-taught,” Bentley said.

For more about the LEGO competition click here, or for more about the VEX competitions, click here.

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