L&N STEM Academy robotics team heads to national competition

Local News

Schools across the country an around the world will make their way to Houston this weekend in preparation for the 2019 First World Robotics Competition this Tuesday.

That includes the L&N STEMpunks at L&N STEM Academy.

“We are incredibly excited. This is the first time we’ve actually qualified to go,” said team captain Circe Whitson.

The team went for the first time last year as a lottery pick.

“Well, personally it’s really special for us because this year we went the farthest we’ve ever gotten to go. We made second place with our alliance so that was fantastic,” said Whitson.

For a team that’s only gone as far as the qualifying round, it’s exciting to say the least.

“Well it’s absolutely huge. There’s going to be about 600 teams present,” Whitson said.

With one robot on the way to Houston already, Whitson explained what they hope their robot will accomplish next week.

“Our robot does two functions. It can pick up the balls called cargo and it can put those in the lowest spaces for those on the rocket ship. And it can also pick up the hatch panels and put those on the lower panels as well,” Whitson said.

The team’s strategy this year is to stay low.

“A lot of teams this year, they chose to make a taller robot because there’s rockets on the field and you can raise the balls into the rockets and put them in. We chose to stay lower to the ground so it’d be a lot faster and put the balls in the lower. It’s called the cargo ship.” said program lead Logan O’Neal.

“I think it’s a great opportunity. You get to do a lot more than the regular regionals that you go to every year.,” said drive team member Camara Pujado.

“It’s going to be pretty crazy. I heard it’s a lot of screaming, pretty loud. A lot more teams there than I’m used to at the regional competitions,” O’Neal said.

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