In what’s been dubbed “the battle of the bots,” high school students in Louisiana met at the Liberty High VEX Robotics Competition in Baton Rouge this month. The students built their own robots, which competed against each other in a tournament. 

“In this competition, we have four teams that compete for each match. They form two alliances and they try to score the most points and at the end of the day, we end up having one team that scores the most points out of all of them, and they get to go onto state, and after that they do onto worlds,” Brady Adamowicz, a robotics teacher and coach for Liberty Magnet High School, told Fox44.

The competition was part of a new curriculum through LSU STEM pathways, which is an extension of the Jump Start Initiative, Louisiana’s innovative career and technical education (CTE) program.  According to its website, STEM Pathways “better prepare students to seek a STEM degree in college or enter the workforce having earned certifications in high-wage career sectors. STEM Pathways are designed for students seeking either a TOPS Tech Diploma or University Diploma.”

While the teams had fun, the point of the program was to give them a taste of what it’s like to be a career engineer. 

“Every team has to create an engineering notebook in which they document the process of building their robots and then testing their robots and coding their robots, and with that, they’re practicing real world skills that every engineer has to do in their career,” said Adamowicz.

At the conclusion of the tournament, the winners received a number of awards, including the design award and robot skills champion. 

Jacob Craft, one of the competitors, said being a robotics engineer takes patience.

“Patience is the main thing,” he told Fox44, “because if you get frustrated and you don’t have enough patience, you’re not going to get it done.”

TryEngineering Live Hands-On Design Challenge Session #4: Robots, Robots, Robots! 

In this on-demand virtual event, we’ll give you a tour of IEEE’s award-winning Robots Guide, a fun interactive site featuring hundreds of real robots, and we’ll also walk you through a printable set of worksheets for kids to use at home.

Watch it now!