Dutch Fork middle schoolers take their skills to a world class c - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Dutch Fork middle schoolers take their skills to a world class competition

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)

Some incredibly smart Dutch Fork middle schoolers are taking their talents to a world class competition. The event is getting underway Thursday, but the students say it's been a year-long process to get there and lots of teamwork.

"They're very passionate," said Lola Whitworth, teacher. "They come in in the mornings. They come in in the evenings. They come in during school just to work on their robots."

And then factor in that they're middle schoolers, programming and building a robot from scratch.

"It's at least a year of work to get it to shoot a ball from one corner of the field to the other. It seems like it's a really simple task but it's really difficult to do that," said Sofia Guerrero, an eighth-grader.

For the second year in a row, this Dutch Form Middle School Team is heading to the Vex Robotics World Competition. This year's task is to build a robot that can catapult a ball across the field and into the net. 

"It's something that's just way beyond what most students get to experience," Whitworth said. "They'll learn skills there that they'll take throughout their lifetime."

That means competing and working alongside other middle schoolers who may not speak the same language and bridging that gap to bring home the gold. 

"Our team goal is to win," Guerrero said. "I mean, our team goal is really to have fun, but, our team goal is to be able to compete well."

And on this practice day, after months of design, breakdown and redesign, this team has a robot that's making the shot.

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.

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