Valley school to take robot to regional tournament


by Heidi Goitia

Bio | Email | Follow: @heidigoitia

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 15 at 3:20 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Students in the robotics club at Estrella Foothills High School are going to the U.S. Super-Regional Championships thanks to their robot Kodex.

The creators of Kodex won the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament against students from other high schools in Arizona and New Mexico.

They will travel to Sacramento, Calif., this month to compete against 71 other teams from 13 other states.

Each team had to build a robot with specific parts and to a specific size while formatting the device to fit a theme.

"This year, the game is called ‘block party,’” teacher Christine King said, “and the object is to pick up blocks – 2-inch-by-2-inch blocks – and put them into baskets that are on a teeter-totter.”

Team members said building the robot gives everyone a chance to show off their knowledge.

"You learn so much math and stuff in school, and you never really get to apply it to something that matters to you,” Estrella senior Connor Runyan said, “but I think that’s what that is. We’re building a robot, and I’ve used (trigonometry), I’ve used calculus, I’ve used physics.”

Billy Babyar, a junior, said he spends most of his days thinking of ways to improve the robot. He said win or lose, the experience has been worthwhile.

"When you’ve been in it for so long, it’s more of just fun," Baybar said. "Just trying to get out there, do your best, and knowing that no matter what you did, this is your robot. This is what you did, the best you can do, and there’s no crime in that.”