Madera High School's robotics team is ranked No. 1 in the world

Madera High School's Madtown 1323 is ranked number one in the world - and the group of 15 students is preparing to defend that ranking after months of hard work.

"They usually put in over 200 plus hours because of programming. They are manufacturing all these different parts. And they work on the weekends," said Vernon Valmonte, Madera High School teacher.

Each year robotic teams across the country are given specific instructions and a timeline to build a robot for competitions.

Madtown 1323 recently won the top spots at the Central Valley and Sacramento Regionals.

They are currently ranked number one the in world. An outside party tracks the points from all competitions from 4,000 teams around the globe.

"You got to have sense of timing and you got to be ready for the next match. You could possibly lose a match and lose points," said John Akana, a Madera High School student.

The team's captain and driver feel that pressure. In addition to designing the robot, they have the responsibility of making sure the robot performs and accomplishes a certain task in about two minutes.

"So for us - we pick up a ball. We have a roller and it is able to pick up the ball. Other teams use suction cups to pick up the ball and have crazy arms," said Akana.

Madtown 1323 will head to the world championships next month in Houston.

"We are trying to raise about $12,000. That covers our travel and hotel expenses. We are taking 10 or 11 kids along with a couple of our mentors and chaperons," said Valmonte.

The team is collecting donations through fundraisers and a GoFundMe account to help pay for their trip.
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