GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A group of Gulfport middle schoolers is preparing for an international level of competition.
The robotics teams at Bayou View Middle School are advancing to the VEX Robotics World Championship.
"A lot of hard work, dedication, hours upon hours," said robotics teacher, Michael Quintero, and through all of the hours spent, the process is a learning experience.
The seventh and eighth graders have been working hard since the beginning of the summer to design, build, and control these robots to perform certain tasks assigned to them. Robotics teacher Michael Quintero said the kids pretty much figure it out on their own.
"Preparing them for real life situations. They have to problem solve. Something happens to their robot in the middle of competition, they've got to figure out how to fix it," he said. Might not be the best fix, might be just throwing on a little tape and a rubber band and they've got to go with it," said Quintero.
The Bayou View Middle School team's performance at the state level earned them the championship title and advanced them to the VEX Robotics World Championship, but it wasn't easy.
"It was really nerve wracking because at the finals we lost a match and it really go to us because it's best two out of three," said eighth grader, Skyler Lambert.
The team came out on top and is headed to compete against 179 other middle school teams from around the world.
Regardless of what happens on the international stage, these students know they're learning life lessons along the way.
"It teaches you the importance of thinking through a problem and not just trying to rush through it and solving it as fast as you can," said eighth grader, Raelah Statham.
The VEX robotics world championship is in April in Louisville, Kentucky.