Robotics teams across West Texas gathered at UTPB for a STEM robotics league competition

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Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 11:36 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 7, 2021 at 12:36 AM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -Students across West Texas gathered for the 5th annual robotics competition at the University of Texas Permian Basin’s College of Engineering campus.

Competitors have been preparing for the competition since the beginning of the school year and had the chance to fine-tune and add repairs before playing in the games.

Allison Barnes, a student in the UTPB Stem Academy has been participating in the competition since she was in the 7th grade and feels it allows her to build a community not only with her teammates but other students around west texas.

“It’s a great feeling. One of the biggest parts of robotics is our networking with other teams and getting to know everyone and seeing their ideas, so that was the worst part about virtual. I didn’t get to see the Midland Classical or the Andrews teams bots and learn from them, and they can learn from us, so I really miss that aspect. I’m so glad to be back in the field and work with the other teams”, says Allison Barnes, a participant representing the STEM Robotics Team 11004.

Barnes plans on becoming an aerospace engineer and loves that this competition has taught her the necessary team-building skills in order to work well with others under pressure.

“It teaches me more than like your basic STEM skills, like programming and stuff. That stuff I can learn on my own. What I can’t learn without FTC is like networking, communication, and team-building skills. I wouldn’t know how to diffuse an argument or like figure out someone’s strengths and work with them. It’s just taught me so much about the soft skills I guess. The part of robotics you don’t hear about”, says Barnes.

Not only is this an educational experience for many students in West Texas but it showcases STEM opportunities for future generations.

“I have confidence that they will do better than my generation, you know, integrating programming, electronics, mechanical systems, and to create something. To me personally, it’s not about winning this competition. It is the fact that you have so many kids that are interested in participating, so the fact that they are here they are already winners. They are able to take that first step in building something”, says George Nnanna, the Dean of the College of Engineering at UTPB.

One of the UTPB coordinators of the robotics competition Dr. Mesut Yurukcu says the next league competition will be held on December 4th at Trinity school.

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