May the best robot win

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Some South Mississippi students are gearing up for a high-tech competition.

Next month, teams from St. Patrick High School, Gulfport High, St. Stanislaus and Picayune High will compete in the NASA FIRST Regional Robotics Competition.

"It's very intricate," said student Trevor Green. "We combine a lot of different technologies."

The students spent six weeks constructing a robot that emulates life on the moon.

"There's a lot of different things that get put into this, electrical. We have people that come from different backgrounds. Some people may be working with electronics and different people work with different aspects," said Green.

Green is captain of the St. Patrick team. He's also one of several students who hopes to take his engineering skills to the next level. And that's what school leaders say the competition is all about.

"The U.S. is not producing enough scientists in the world, so they are trying to get students to go into engineering," said Roy Cloud, a mentor for the St. Patrick's Robotics Club.

"It just teaches us real life experiences when we build this robot. It's not just about what goes in the robot, but what we learn about it and our impact on the community," said Robert Smith.

Smith is representing Gulfport High, but he's actually a student at Biloxi High. In fact, his team is made up of students from several South Mississippi schools.

The students say they know only the best robot will win. They just hope the winner is from South Mississippi.

Tuesday is the deadline for the teams to ship their robots to New Orleans. The four teams will head to New Orleans next month to compete in the regional competition.