Heartland home school group to compete world robotics competitio - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland home school group to compete world robotics competition

“We’ve been working on it since September (Source: Kadee Brosseau, KFVS). “We’ve been working on it since September (Source: Kadee Brosseau, KFVS).

A Heartland home school group will compete in the world competition of robotics. The team of six young men won at the regional level, earning them the right to advance.

Middle Earth Mechanics will be the only team representing Missouri at the world competition in St. Louis the end of April.

The machine they've build is anything but simple, but these six young men know every part and piece. That's because they built it completely from scratch.

“You just come up with a general idea and then start putting things together and see what works, what doesn't.” Team Member Adam Elfrink said.

Middle Earth Mechanics has earned a spot at the world competition. It's an accomplishment that's taken lots of hard work, determination, and time.

“We've been working on it since September of last year and, really, we are still working on it,” Elfrink said.

However, as they explained to other students during a demonstration a Saxony Lutheran High School, it takes more than a great robot to win, you also have to think outside the box.

“Our robot is the only one we've seen like this. We've actually get a couple awards for having a totally unique design,” Team Member Conrad Criddle said.

While the design stands out at competition, the students' parents say what stands out to them is what's really important.

“Probably the closest thing that they've had to a real life work experience in that they don't just have to be good at building a robot but they have to get up and speak in front of other people, that's part of the competition,” Amy Elfrink said.

From programming to redesigning to driving each team member plays an important part.

“We had never worked on robots together before this year,” Elfrink said.

As these guys look to the next competition, they'll be bringing a good attitude, too.

“Do the best we can, have fun, that's all we really can do,” Elfrink said. “It would be nice to win.”

The cost just to start building a robot is about $1,000. The team raises support from more than 30 local businesses to whom they say they're very grateful.

If you'd like to learn more about how to get involved in robotics, click here.

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