Whitewright robotics team gears up for state championships

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

WHITEWRIGHT, TX-One Texoma high school team gears up to take on the best high school robotics team in the state of Texas. Whitewright High School won five state robotics championships since 1993. Now, this year's robotics team gets ready to head to Garland to face 56 other schools, hoping to win their sixth title. Victoria Maranan saw them practice Tuesday afternoon, she brings us the story.

The Whitewright High School robotics team practiced Tuesday after school preparing for the big competition on Saturday. Freshman Blake Henderson just joined the team this year.

"At first one of my friends kind of came up and mentioned the idea and I thought it would be fun to do it. It really is and that kind of got it all started," he said.

Henderson, along with 13 other students, put in over 15 hours a week assembling their robot, which they nicknamed "ramirez." Their work impressed the school's robotics sponsor, Rodney Stanford.

"They worked really hard. They put in a lot of hours, a lot of extra hours after school just giving a great deal of effort to the program," he said.

The robot was made of wood, PVC pipes, polycarbonate for the gears, two golf balls and a rubber band, which were some of the required building materials listed by Texas "Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology" also knows as BEST.

The robotics team then built a set, similar to the one where they'll show off their robot at the competition. The state contest's theme this year is "Bugs," so the team practiced with "Ramirez" picking up various materials representing insects: styrofoam represent flies, bean bags serve as termites and plastic toys as cockroaches.

Stanford hopes the program teach the team more than how to build robots.

"I hope they've learned a little bit about engineering, a little bit about ingenuity, a lot about working together and coming together to work as a team in order to accomplish a common goal and purpose," he said.

But Henderson also hopes to win.

"I'd really like to win the championships and state, but most of all just knowing being able to do this stuff," he said.

The Whitewright High School robotics team will be heading to Garland Friday morning and compete for their sixth championship trophy Saturday.

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