Students from across the Texas Panhandle competed to see who constructed the smartest robot Saturday at the Region 16 Education Center on Saturday.
Two hundred students on 60 teams from schools throughout the area competed in a robotics competition for students from districts from Amarillo, Canyon, Clarendon, Dimmitt, Happy, Hart, Hereford, Kelton, Lefors, Panhandle, Pampa, Perryton, Plemons-Stinnett-Phillips Consolidated, Pringle-Morse Consolidated, Silverton and the Well STEM Center.
Dana Friel, TCEA director for Area 16, said using strategy, speed and accuracy, the competition requires students use marketing, programming, writing, constructing, and presentation skills.
“It’s problem-solving skills, teamwork skills and communication skills because the (intermediate and advanced competing) inventions kids have to do a speech to the judges,” she said.
Using provided guidelines, students designed, built and programmed the robots to do specific timed-tasks for which they were graded on in real time.
With the theme of Mastering Mars and using Lego Mindstorms robots, students in fourth through 12th grades competed in four competitions throughout the day.
Kate Herring, an engineer at Amarillo’s Bell Helicopter, has arranged the themes and designed the competition for the past two years, Friel said.
The teams were randomly selected and not eliminated during the rounds. Winners were announced at the end of the event.
The top two teams in each event have qualified for the TCEA state robotics contest in Austin, tentatively scheduled for April 7.