MAYFLOWER, Ark. - The Mayflower High School robotics team is going to the world championship. And they'll tell you -- it took long hours plus trial and error to get to where they are.
If you were to ask these students six months ago...
"I had no idea, no," Haydyn Hudnall, a Mayflower High School sophomore, said.
They didn't have a clue about robotics. They didn't think they'd have enough tools or the time to prepare to compete.
"They gave us a kit and an instruction manual and we were just like, 'That will work,'" Austin Smith, a Mayflower High School senior, said.
Fast forward to March... The Metal Eagles 6640 made the cut. The 10-person team won the regional contest, their very first competition.
"It's... an immense... happiness," Smith said.
But the road getting there wasn't easy. Students helped secure a $6,000 grant to get the team up and running.
"Oh, we were in this room from after school 3:30 to 7 o'clock, every single week day," Smith said.
"We were a very determined team and we really bonded as a family," Hudnall said.
Each carry a different role. Some work on the 3D printer. Others put together the pieces.
Their challenge was to make the robot get a gear on a peg, climb a rope and push up a plate by three inches.
"Everyone had their commitment. Everyone wanted to be here and everyone was happy to work," Smith said.
The three girls on the team are also hoping their work inspires other girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
"It's not as intimidating as you think it would be, being in a team where the majority is guys. You know, the girls, we keep up," Hudnall said.
They've certainly raised the bar for future students interested in robotics.
The world championship is April 18 in Houston, Texas. During the process, Exxon donated $2,500 to help the team, and Molex sent three engineers to work with students.
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