Hundreds of students compete in Madera robot battle

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From securing a wheel, fastening a screw and even melting metal to firm up a connection, hundreds of students in the main gym of Madera South High School are making last minute changes to their robots ahead of this year's Central Valley Robotics Regional Competition. (KFSN)

Hundreds of students are in the North Valley Friday and this weekend for a battle pitting one inventive machine against the other.

From securing a wheel, fastening a screw and even melting metal to firm up a connection, hundreds of students in the main gym of Madera South High School are making last minute changes to their robots ahead of this year's Central Valley Robotics Regional Competition.

"We're making final adjustments into which we're adjusting the chains so it can actually rotate firmly," student Luis Vazquez said.

"It's intense right now," Madera High School Alan Hollman exclaimed. "They're working on their robots trying to get them put together get everything functional and working."

For the fifth year in a row, Madera Unified has hosted the robotics competition.

All students in the district were given the day off for the event. Officials say it frees up space at Madera South and encourages all of their students to come by the event and maybe even get them interested in science. Junior high student Danielle Espinoza came with her aunt to see robots in action.

"Kind of cool because it's cool to see all the different things that happen when people work together," Espinoza said.

Once the students finish working on their robot they take them over to the west gym for a practice match. The practice matches give teams a chance to test out how their robot works before the actual competition takes place on Saturday.

Every year the type of machine the students are required to create is different. This year's robot involves a ball.

"Basically, we have to shoot it from a high enough goal while also crossing obstacles as well," Vazquez said.

Teams from up and down California are participating. Some have been competing for twenty years. Others, like a group of students from Merced County, are taking part for the very first time.
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