Valley Christian High School robotics team wins top prize

128 teams from around the world competed for first place in the World FTC Robotics competition in St. Louis, but Valley Christian High School in Chandler took home the gold.

What did it feel like getting first place in the world?

"It felt awesome. We had a lot of problems with our team throughout the year and just being able to pull it together and keep powering through and have perseverance and win it was really awesome," said A.J. Bierly, who is one of the four people on Team "Valley X," the robotics team at Valley Christian High School.

After competing for six years, this year was their turn to take home the gold, but the process wasn't easy.  They even had to repair their robot during the competition.

"We had to take some things apart and cut some wires to replace that screw," said Nick Bacon, the robotics teacher.  He says engineer mentors are brought in to teach the kids the basics of building a robot.

"They have to understand the electrical components to really have a competitive robot," he said.

Students find out early on in the year what kind of robot they have to create for it to compete at the FTC Robotics competition.

"It takes a lot of work, going from just a little base to be able to build it up to do all the tasks in the field.. it's really awesome to see it develop throughout the year," said Bierly.

Since it takes about eight months to build, they're already planning for 2016.  Rather than use this device to run the program, they're going to be using a cell phone.

"They're doing a whole new system next year, so I have to learn a whole new coding," said Bierly.

But in the meantime, they're enjoying the title as world champions.

Bacon says winning the World FTC competition also looks good on resumes for students working to get scholarships in engineering and robotics.

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