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Robotics Competition Kicks Off At Cox Convention Center

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These robots represent weeks of intense planning and execution by high schools from across Oklahoma and the country. These robots represent weeks of intense planning and execution by high schools from across Oklahoma and the country.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Sixty teams from around the country packed into the Cox Convention Center for this year's First Robotics Competition. And the stakes were high. In the audience were scouts from colleges, the military and engineering companies looking for the "best of the best" to recruit.

This is where it all counts, the arena where teams of robots compete against each other in the finals. These robots represent weeks of intense planning and execution by high schools from across Oklahoma and the country.

"We completely build a robot from scratch. They give us the information on a kick-off and from that day we have six weeks to be ready to be at competition," said Ponca City junior, Wade Vanderburgh.

This time the robots need to fire Frisbees at targets and climb up the pyramids.

"Takes a lot of dedications, because we have a lot of mentors that want us to succeed and so they're always trying to help us," said Tulsa sophomore, Jessica Meloy.

The goal, of course, is to win, becoming the best of the best, grabbing the attention of important people in the audience scouting out the talented young men and women.

"We need to continue to put out the best and the brightest of all engineers, technology, scientists and so forth to keep our strategic advantage. High-tech manufacturing comes from these kids and this is the future," said Dean of OSU's School of Engineering, Paul Tikalsky.

For past competitors, it's a no-brainer that this competition can open countless doors for team-members.

"There's no limit. I told them this morning that I wanted to go to Oklahoma State University. So I wanted to get to Stillwater. Now I'm going to the University of Cambridge for a year to get my master's in engineering. This could take them to the moon and back and who knows where else once the technology gets there, so there's no limits to it," said former competitor, Lashun Oakley.

These young kids have their eyes set on some big dreams down the road.

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