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Local robotic teams gear up for world championship

Members of the Selma Brave Bots practice the drive on their robots ahead of the world championship.

MUNCIE, INDIANA.--- Three Delaware County robotics teams are set to take on teams from 40 different countries at the world championship. For some teams, this will be their first time being at a competition this large.  

Selma Brave Bots from Selma Elementary School have had many firsts this year at the state and international level.

“Worlds was even more of a shock for us when we got that invitation at state,” said Coach Jenna Eastham.

This team consists of four players in fourth and fifth grade and take the extra time after school to perfect their strategy in competitions. The students learn how to code, build and drive a robot, as well as communication skills.

“Not only are they working on those problem-solving, critical thinking, math and science standards, they are also getting those real-life experiences,” Eastham said. 

While the team was competing in the second round of the state competition, there was a dispenser malfunction. They had to explain to the judges why they should get a second chance, something Eastham said she is proud of how they were able to stand up for themselves. 

As many Indiana teams got their ticket to the world competition at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Brave Bots did not know they made it until the next day.

“After we found the awards and our name didn’t get called, we were like there was no way that we made it,” said team member Brixton Nickels. “But we did.”

For Eastham, the communication between her team is key to their success.

“Just having that confidence and that ability to learn something enough that they feel that they can stand up and speak up when they need to is an amazing skill at a fourth and fifth grade level,” Eastham said.

The bolts and gears are not the only thing keeping the team’s robot together, it’s also the lifelong skills they are learning on this team.

Joining the Brave Bots in Dallas from Delaware County are teams representing Royerton Elementary School and Delta Middle School from May 2-4. 

Contact Anna Chalker with comments at alchalker@bsu.edu