ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - One local middle school will be heading to a worldwide robotics competition, but not before receiving a helping hand from local businesses.
Sixth grader Alayna Tagert, 11, and her teammates make some quick modifications to their award-winning robot, Sting.
"It took us only a few weeks to build it, and it was really complicated to do at first," said Alayna.
Their goal is getting Sting ready for the next big competition, just on the heels of winning a major state championship.
The Lady Jackets of St. Martin Middle School have made their way past the state championships and will now advance to a worldwide championship in Kentucky.
"It's a little crazy. Kind of overwhelming. I didn't know that we'd make it this far with this robot. It feels pretty cool," said team member Stephanie Ressel
Support has been pouring in from a variety of local businesses, with local companies helping to raise more than $4,000 to get the girls to the competition.
Website developer director with the Future Design Group, Eric Oliver, is hoping to lend a helping hand as well. Friday, his organization presented a check for $1,000 to the team, as well as $1,000 in graphic design to help them out.
"We're all for donating to local causes, and this is kind of close to our heart, because my entire team is developers or designers," said Oliver.
He's hoping this donation can manifest into not only a win for the team, but can also inspire a lifelong career involving robotics and technology.
"It's kind of funny how so many people are supporting this, and we all kind of started from nothing. Now, we're going to worlds, and it's pretty crazy," said Ressel.
The VEX Worlds Robotics Competition will kick off April 19.