Local Middle Schoolers Compete In State Robotics Contest

HARRISONBURG -- Several middle school students are getting set to head to Richmond this weekend to compete for a state championship in a robotics contest.

The team coming from the Shenandoah Valley will be the youngest at the competition and representing Thomas Harrison Middle School.

Back in September of last year, the children a part of the the First Tech Challenge club received parts to build a robot.

For tomorrow's contest, the robot will have to pick up rings from a board and than transport the rings to another separate board a distance away.

The robot was put together with metal parts, wires, wheels, and batteries, and tomorrow the club will be controlling it with a remote control.

The students will be going up against juniors and seniors from high schools all over the state.

At the workshop at Harrisonburg High School, coach Geoff Estes says the team has been able to come together and show true enthusiasm to their group activities.

He says the team attitude was what helped them win a qualifier to get to the state championship, and while their competitors are older, Estes thinks the kids from Thomas Harrison have already done so much.

"They are feeling very accomplished right now. They've taken a bunch of parts, learned how to program them, and piece it all together to make a robot," explained Estes, who teaches math at Harrisonburg High School. "When you have seventh and eighth graders that can do this well, it's a great accomplishment."

On Saturday morning around five o'clock, the Thomas Harrison students will head to Richmond.

This year, almost 30 teams will be competing in the robotics contest.

On Saturday morning around five o'clock, the Thomas Harrison students will head to Richmond.

This year, almost 30 teams will be competing in the robotics contest.


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