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Bandera team takes first place at robotics tournament at SWTJC

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Bandera team takes first place at robotics tournament at SWTJC

The Bandera Middle School robotics team, Bandera Blast Offs claimed first place during the third annual First Lego League robotics tournament on Feb. 16 at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde.

Second place was awarded to the Ultimate Astrobots of United High School in Laredo. Other teams advancing to the regional championship include the Alkek Achievers and Brilliant Bulldogs of Alkek Elementary School; NerdBotz, San Felipe Memorial Middle School and the CMS Corps of Engineers Team of Joaquin Cigarroa Middle School.

More than 150 students from 21 area schools competed in the First Lego League robotics tournament, where “Into Orbit” was the theme of the competition.

This year’s theme introduced participants to the challenges of space exploration.

The robot game missions encouraged teams to overcome space challenges ranging from detecting and mining resources under the surface of an asteroid to the effects of zero-gravity on the human body.

Each team was also tasked with developing a solution to either a physical problem that impacts the immediate health or safety of a space explorer, such as the need for air, water, food or exercise, or a social problem, one that could affect the long-term ability of a human to be productive in space, like isolation and boredom.

Teams who competed came from all over the region including Bandera, Comstock, Crystal City, Del Rio, Laredo and San Antonio.

Students in the tournament ranged from fourth to eighth grades. The highlight of the tournament was the robot games.

Students programmed autonomous robots, which were set loose on a course with a series of different objectives to accomplish.