There was plenty of colorful cardboard and vibrant videos at Faulkner State Community College Thursday morning. Nearly 2,000 students from grades three through 12 came out to prove their tech savvy with projects like mini dunking robots.
“You get pretty excited once you get in the heat of competition. Some people are unprepared for it,” Cody Emmons, a senior at Baldwin County High School, said. “And they come and they see what other people do and they learn from it and come back next year. It’s a learning experience for a lot of people.”
And while many came to learn, others came to teach the public about topics close to their hearts.
“We wanted to stop bullying at other schools because we know that bullying is a cause that (happens) every day and we want it to stop,” Mary Grace McKeough, a sixth grader at St. Patrick’s Catholic School, said.
The students competed in 14 categories, which included individual programming, groups, and hardware. A category that fifth grader Aaron Foster took first place in for his grade.
His robot “Uber Bringer,” or “U.B.” for short, is preprogrammed to move in a variety of ways, while carrying some choice items.
“I was too lazy to go to the kitchen to get food, but I wasn’t too lazy to build a robot to do it,” Foster said.
Dr. Charles Lake with Faulkner has spearheaded the regional competition for 30 years. He said the students who win here traditionally do very well at the state level.
“They’re up against kids from Hoover, Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, and our kids walk away with the top trophies. And it’s a comment on the teachers here,” Lake said.
The students who won first and second in each of the 14 categories will go on to the state competition in April. It will be held at Auburn University in Montgomery this year.