Middle school students compete in robotics competition at Lufkin Civic Center

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Creativity andimagination, that's what goes into these robots featured in the WyomingSmith and the Lost Cities of Gold Robotics Competition.

"There are so manykids here and they're so smart and it's really cool to see other people'srobots because everyone thinks differently," said Zoe Rodgers, 8thgrade student Tenaha ISD.

Thisyear's theme is Yellowstone National Park.

About 250 students from,Pine Tree, Athens, Tenaha and other region seven schools sent their robotsthrough a course representing the park and overcoming obstacles related tovarious landmarks.

Gifted and talented specialistfor the competition Donna Ashby says students benefit from competing becauserobotics involves not only math and science but also language arts andsocial studies.

"Cross-curriculumconnection so we hope to tie everything together and create a love of learning,a love of creating thinking," said Ashby.

The robots are made out oflegos and once students build the basic robot they make additions andadjustments to fit the course.

"The work has onlyjust begun because then you have to open up your computer and really get toprogramming," said Tyler Smith, 7th grade student Wells ISD.

The students are judged onhow well the robot moves through the course and completes the obstacle.

Zoe Rodgers and herpartner Cullen have both competed in robotics for three years.

They say it'schallenging and makes you think outside the box.

"The first time Iprogrammed a robot I couldn't get it to work, it wouldn't come on and then whenI pressed the button it was really freaky because it started moving on its own,"said Rodgers.

These students say despitethe bumps in the road, the challenges that come with robotics are worth it andhelps them improve year after year.

Officials say the studentsbegin preparing their robots in early September.

The middle schoolcompetition continues Wednesday and the high school completion starts Thursday.

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