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Future faces of math and science build competition robots

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 12 2013 07:43:46 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 13 2013 04:00:40 PM CST
ABILENE, TX -

More and more of our lives are being automated by technology.

Some students in the Big Country and nearby districts competed in a Lego Mindstorm Robotics competition at Clyde High School.

Kutter Armstead is a senior at Westbrook ISD who said the experience has been fun, but challenging.

"Hours and hours after school and during school are spent working," Armstead said. "Yesterday, for instance we got out of all of our classes all day long to work on it and we were still programming this morning at 6 a.m."

His hard work paid off. He and his team took first place in their category. Along with building and programming, some of the kids created their own inventions.

Even though they spend weeks crafting their own robot, it's not all about winning.

"I'm just proud of the effort the kids put forth, even if they didn't do the very best job they thought they could," said TCEA Area 14 Director. "They were excited to get out and try again."

The competition provides a creative way to expose students to science, math and engineering.

"This is an extra curricular activity," said Clyde ISD Director of Technology Mike Neal. "They come back on a regular basis a couple times a week."

Armstead said he's passing the torch to the younger generation.

"They can go off and be robotic engineers and do great things for the world that maybe they didn't know they could have done before," said Armstead.

All of the first and second place winners will compete in the state competition in April taking place in Houston.

In Abilene, Jackson Elementary 5th graders took first place in their invention category and the 4th graders placed second.