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ICC BELDEN, MISS (WCBI) -For these high school teams, months of hard work, tinkering , and trial and error all comes down to this one day.

“You never know how good the other team is going to be so you have to go to the best of your ability,” said Monroe County Vo Tech Student Dylan Ross.

The VEX robotics competition challenges students, with guidance from teachers and mentors, to build robots.

Then teams compete against each other to obtain the most points possible. The strategy is simple, teams guide their and maneuver their robot to pick up sacks, and put them in a trough.

The team that places the most sacks in a trough in a certain amount of time wins.

While the competition helps students develop science, technology, engineering and math skills. It also helps them develop many skills they can use after school.

“In our fields, we need a lot more students who are interested and involved in highly technical and advanced manufacturing equipment, robotics being one of those,” said Ashley Brown of ICC.

Students say the competition is tough and a  lot of fun.

“I guess the challenge and it expands our learning abilities because this is a learning experience and I guess it will help us  in the future to know more about this,” said Shannon High School Sophomore Tyler Roberson.
“It’s hands on and I can actually see what I’m doing, I can build it test it and not be sitting at a desk just doing random work,” said Monroe County Vo Tech Student Alan Blansett.
This is the first year for ICC to host the VEX Robotics competition. The competition had become so popular and prestigious, organizers needed a bigger space.  There is also a lot at stake.  The top three finishers will head to nationals in California.

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