East Texas school robotics teams compete in world competition

East Texas school robotics teams compete in world competition
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 3:21 PM CDT|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
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NEW DIANA, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas town is celebrating its middle and elementary schools’ efforts in a huge robotics competition.

A team from Hunt Elementary and two teams from Diana Middle School competed in the recent world robotics competition in Dallas, where over 700 teams from all over the world had converged.

“It was nerve racking at first, but then got a little more comfortable as the days went on,” said 5th grade team member Reid Verzosa.

The students designed, built and programmed their robotics to perform a specific task.

“VEX-robotics competitions, they stress that it’s student led. They even have to sign documentation that they created that robot, and programmed it,” said elementary robotics coach Cindy Ludgate.

“We look at what we have to do this year for that match and we find inspiration, that’s where we start with our building process,” said 7th grade team member Charley Burris.

That task was to load and slide disks under a set horizontal bar, into a scoring area to achieve points.

“It’s a combination of problem solving and continuing to work towards our build. Programming the robots to do the same thing without a person,” said middle school robotics coach Samantha Szydloski.

The teams collectively achieved 26th place out of 75 within their division.

Coaches say what these kids learn now will be critical for the future.

“With the world we’re living in today becoming advanced in technology, we are teaching them, preparing them for jobs that do not exist yet. So math and sciences are imperative,” Ludgate says.

“I’d like to be an engineer,” Verzosa says.

The teams qualified for the world competition by earning high scores in the regional and state competitions.