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Robotics teams prepare for state championship

The best and brightest robotics students from Eisenhower High School and Great Plains Technology Center will face off against hundreds of others this weekend at the Oklahoma State VEX VRC High School Robotics Championship.

Today is the moment the students have prepared for since they returned to class in August and began creating metal monsters to compete in Turning Point, this year’s new game. The students had to design a robot that could launch balls to flip flags, turn plastic plates mounted on rubber balls, stack additional pieces on large poles and compete in a rough game of king of the hill.

Debbi Bailey, VEX Robotics team coach at Eisenhower High School, said Turning Point is one of the most intense and deep games VEX has created yet. But her students are up for the challenge. The school will field two teams consisting of six students and both have a chance to make a strong showing at the tournament.

“Our A-team has finished in the top four places at the last three tournaments,” she said. “And they won a tournament in Broken Arrow.”

The teams have won an Excellence Award and Visionary Award, each handed out separate of tournament performance. Those awards and the tournament success shows how ready the students are to enter the Northeastern State University Event Center in Tahlequah and hold their own against the best of the state. Bailey said this birth is the culmination of months and countless hours of hard work by all six students.

“They start as soon as the school year starts,” she said. “Some of them even get a jump start on next year’s game when they announce it in May. So they’ve been working on this throughout the summer. They were ready to get back to work as soon as school started.”

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