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Robotics ready to rumble

[ 0 ] October 2, 2013 |

By CHRIS EDENS

City Editor

Team Warhorse is ready to battle again.

TheOologahHigh Schoolrobotics team gained valuable experience during their first year of competition. The Mustangs hope to make a return trip to nationals in the second year of the program.

The FIRST Robotics competition has been called the “varsity sport for the mind.” Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, hone teamwork skills and build and program robots to perform specific tasks against other teams.

It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

Oologah qualified for nationals last year after winning a Rookie of the Year Award at regionals. Oologah coach Danny Pruett said last year was an eye opening experience for his team.

Pruett was impressed with his student’s hard work and dedication in designing and building their first robot and their enthusiasm at the competitions.

“I’ve never been more proud of a group of kids in my life,” Pruett said. “All of the seniors that graduated last year are coming back to mentor this years team.”

Last year, students designed robots to shoot Frisbees into goals and to climb a tower in the center of the playing court. This year’s game will be announced Jan. 4.

Team Warhorse plans on making the trip toStillwateragain this year for the game announcement. Pruett said his team would love to have a hint about the new game, but it’s a tightly guarded secret.

After the announcement, teams have 42 days to complete their robot. Oologah will compete at theOklahoma Cityregional March 27, 28 and 29.

Fundraising is a major part of the program. Pruett said the team needs to raise about $18,000 to compete this year.

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