Chandler robotics team heading to world championships

- The Firebots, the robotics team from Willis Jr. High School in Chandler, are off to the world championships in Kentucky.

Six students are making the trip this year and for some, it's the second year in a row.

"International teams have their own different ways of looking at the robotics program and it was just a huge educational experience of how different people think and how different robots can work," Xavier Valdez said.

Jason Prichard is the robotics teacher and he says the secret to qualifying for the world championships is staying organized.

"Judges like to see the process and the thinking that went in to it, so the engineering process, keeping a really good notebook, presenting the team well and answering the judges' questions," he said.

They say the hardest part isn't creating a robot, but rather agreeing on decisions as a team.

"Getting everybody to work together, team work is probably the biggest challenge," Prichard said.

The second biggest challenge is keeping up with things that go wrong.

"Something unexpected always happens, so something will fail on the robot," Prichard said. "Adjustments need to be made."

The entire process is a learning experience and a fun one at that.

"I definitely recommend girls getting involved in stuff like this," said Romy Thibeault. "It's just kid of a new way that we can really get recognized as another side of us."

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