GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Next month, Gulfport High School's Team Fusion 364 is heading to the First Robotics Competition World Championship in Houston. Thirty-two team members from grades 9 through 12 will compete against 450 of the best teams in the world.
The pressure is on for Team Fusion 364. Members are constantly practicing and tweaking their robot ahead of the world championship April 18-22.
"We've named it 'Guido' because it kind of reminds of the forklift from "'Cars,'" said Gulfport High Engineering Instructor Clinton Brawley.
However, this Guido wasn't built to change tires.
"So we have a robot that can both climb and grab cubes," said Team Fusion 364 member Ceana Palacio.
Brawler said the robot was designed by Team Fusion 364 with the help of NASA and Mississippi Power engineers. He said it's able to pick up cubes and balance a scale. It can also climb.
"But the whole point of the competition is to trick these high school students into using the learning they've developed throughout their high school career and actually putting it to real-world use," said Brawley.
While robotics teaches a lot about STEM, it also delves into other disciplines. Members of Team Fusion 364 are divided into subteams who either work, program or wire the robot. They also have members who work on the business and administrative side of the project.
"We're excited to head to Worlds and we're thankful for our sponsors and our students and our parents and our mentors, who have spent the past six weeks and extra driving around to practice, coming, staying here late and working on the robot," said Palacio.
Brawley says two years ago Team Fusion made it all the way to the tournament as champions of the Einstein Field. This year, they hope to repeat that and walk away with the trophy.
Their robot is capable of lifting a cube anywhere from two to seven feet. They will need to raise around $20,000 for the upcoming competition. To donate you can email Clint Brawley at Clint.email@example.com.