Grand Canyon University hosts regional robotics competition

Each team has worked for several weeks to create their robot, and on Friday it was "game on."

It's called the "Recyclable Rush" which includes robots, bins, and picking up litter.

The robots took over Grand Canyon University Friday, as 34 high-school teams from all over the Western United States participated in the regional robotics competition.

"It's really difficult, but it is a lot of stress, a lot of fun though," said Adam Katafiase.

Katafiase is a senior at Notre Dame, he said to build a robot you have to gather all the pieces first.

"A lot of it's cable, copper cables for the electricity, otherwise we use a lot of aluminum to keep the weight down," he said.

Katafiase said after six weeks the teams came to compete against one another.

"It's great fun, robotics, having a great blast," said Katafiase.

But it is not just all fun and games, students learn valuable lessons.

"This is a game where we have to stack a lot of totes, we have to stack recycle containers on top of these things. So we are working on having to lift, and put totes in a stack, and move them on to the scoring platform," said Erik Hertwig.

Hertwig is the coach for Globe High School. He says creating robots teaches students skills in math, science, and technology.

"For our kids it gives them everything that they need to go into engineering as a career," he said.

Which is exactly what Katafiase is hoping to learn once he goes off to college.

"I'm looking to go to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for computer engineering," said Katafiase.

24 teams will make it to the finals Friday evening, and then three teams will go to the national competition in St. Louis.
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