Local Teens Hope to Win World Robotic Title

By: Frankie Jupiter Email
By: Frankie Jupiter Email

March 3, 2013

Local teens are "Defying Gravity."

Perhaps not literally, but a group of nine students who adopted that phrase as their name in a robotics competition recently took home a state title. They're looking to travel to St. Louis to compete at the world level.

"This is huge. I know when I was in sixth grade, I was on another first team and I went to the national competition. Being a senior this year, I'm very thrilled to be going to international competition as well," said team member Eric Hahn.

This group, made of students from Henley Middle School, Albemarle High School and St. Anne's-Belfield, builds, operates and repairs their robot, which they named Arcturus. On Saturday, the First Tech Challenge Team won the state title in Richmond, beating out all other teams. They say it's a lot of work.

"We have to build many prototypes of the robot, and we put a lot of time into it and and its many meeting after school," team member Heidi Hahn said.

The teens hope that all of their time and effort will pay off, ultimately with a world title.

"If we move on to globals and we get that recognition, having the higher chance of finding scholarships just increases by a huge amount," said team member Meghana Illendula.

The team needs to raise $6,000 to travel to St. Louis and are looking for help from the community.

"I can speak for our team that we are super excited to go we're just working now to try to be able to go," Hahn said.

The team hopes to put Virginia on the robotics map.

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