Local school to compete in national bot competition

ESKRIDGE, KS (WIBW)-- One small school is making big robot moves.

A team in the Mission Valley High School Agriculture Engineering department built the "Black Widow" robot from scratch, and will now head to Pennsylvania to put her to work during the National Robotics League Competition.

The team of six students worked throughout the school year, aiming to create a robot that would knock out the competition. Senior Mateo Lisk says teamwork made creating the competitive robot easier.

"It is a big team effort because you have somebody doing one thing and somebody doing another thing if you are doing it all by yourself it's very difficult," he said.

The team encountered challenges however, the first edition of "Black Widow" had to be rebuilt from scratch after experiencing a mechanical failure during a regional competition.

The students returned home from the regional competition, dedicated to creating a new and improved "Black Widow" robot. Instructor John Bergin says the teams setbacks prepared them to tackle challenges with ease and preparation.

"They are more confident in themselves, and their role in the manufacturing industry," Bergin said.

Students on the team say no matter what happens during the competition, they are proud they 'made it' to the big leagues.

"We competed alongside other schools, K State just around the corner, Pittsburg State, and Iowa State," Junior Parker Meyers said. "So for us to make it farther than them, I think that's pretty impressive for us as a school that has around 170 kids."

Bergin says he hopes the team also takes the lessons learned during preparation for the competition into their futures.

"I hope the kids see that this event isn't the conclusion of the process," he said. "It's just the apart of the process for them to become engineers or become part of the manufacturing industry."

The team leaves for Pennsylvania Wednesday, May 16, for the competition occuring Saturday, May 19.