Students Compete in Robot Competition

Lynchburg, VA - High school students from all over the state competed Saturday in a Robotics Competition at Liberty Christian Academy, in Lynchburg.

The competition was hosted by Liberty University's School of Engineering.

More than 300 students comprised 36 teams.

The objective was to get as many bean bags into their team's bucket in only a couple minutes.

Sounds easy right?

But now try building a custom metal robot to do the job for you.

These high school students made this difficult task look easy.

"When I was younger, I always wanted to make robots, stuff that would move," said Justin Herald, who participated in the competition.

Herald is a high school student from Woodbridge, Virginia. While making robots was a childhood dream, it's now a career goal.

"When I got to High School, I was like 'Oh wow there is actually robots, that's pretty cool," said Herald.

Even though Herald says Robotics is a hobby of his, he also says it's hard work.

"There's the physical part of building the robot, there is the programming part, and then you're able to make the autonomous. It's just a fun thing to do, a challenge and a lot of aspects of the building process," said Herald.

Organizers of the competition say it's about more than just having fun.

They say many of the students competing; have the potential to be future leaders.

"It's just really amazing when you see young people, coming together to work on projects that can solve real world solutions," said Scott Pleasants, with Liberty University's School of Engineering.

"They are learning science skills, technology skills, teamwork, how to work as a team," said Elizaebth Narehood, with Region 2000 Future Focus Foundation.

Narehood also says they hope many of the high school students will decide to start their careers, right here in Lynchburg.

"The Lynchburg Regional Area is a great place for engineers; we have a lot of companies that have engineering positions available," said Narehood.

As for Herald, he's just proud of his team's performance.

"I think we've done pretty good, best we've done all year," said Herald.

The top two teams Saturday get to go on to the World Competition, in California.