A group of high school students is getting ready to take part in a memorable trip, thanks to their impressive skills outside the classroom.
The robotics team, Droid Rage, from Collegiate High School, will be squaring off with teams from around the world next week searching for a chance to take home the top prize.
The students’ hard work and determination have landed them a spot in the World Championship in Houston next weekend.
Teamwork was the key for their success last weekend during the FIRST Robotics Competition, where they not only won the District State Championship, but they also won the U.I.L. Robotics State Championship.
“This is the first inaugural district championship that Texas has ever hosted, and being a part of that, winning that, it feels so excited,” said Droid Rage senior Yedhartha Sai Chinnasani.
“We worked hard to get here and hold currently two world records for FIRST Robotics: the high scoring match and the highest scoring alliance team in the playoffs at the state championship, which is a huge deal for us because we went from not being able to build and program a robot 4 years ago to being able to accomplish this great feat,” said Droid Rage senior Jorge Valdez.
For the team, the opportunity to go to the World Championship to compete with the best teams is a big honor and achievement, but it is also expensive.
“We need lots of money to sponsor all the registrations. Registrations for the FIRST Robotics Competition events run $5,000 a pop, so we are going to need to pay another $5,000 to Worlds and just for their tools, their parts, everything it takes to build every component of the robot. It is very costly. Each robot runs about $5,000 in cost,” said FIRST Robotics Mentor Sandy Riggs.
“At the world championship, we are truly going to be competing against the best, and I feel like we have a great shot. So when it comes to representing Corpus Christi, we are doing everything we can to make sure we are known there,” said Valdez.
Students on the Droid Rage team, who are ranked 10 of 183 teams in the state of Texas, say while programming robots and competing is great, they feel they are also learning a lot more.
“This is just not a robotics program, this is also where students can learn business, marketing, and life skills,” Chinnasani said.
This STEM program is designed to show students that working with science and technology can be fun. It also teaches them the value of teamwork.
The students are asking for donations to help fund their trip to Houston , which is scheduled from April 17-20.