STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - The engineers of tomorrow are shaped by creative thinking and learning how to work as a team in today's classroom.
As part of the Mississippi First Lego League competition, students researched and developed a solution to water shortages.
A growing robotic program in the Starkville-Oktibbeha County school district is recognized for their innovative ideas.
Penny Rodrique is a proud coach for several robotic teams at Armstrong Middle School.
"I would have been ecstatic if one group had won," Rodrique said.
Penny Rodrique is hopeful.
Armstrong Middle School has never had a team place at the state competition, but this could be their year.
Three teams earned high marks at the Regional level.
"My third team, which we call our Cinderella team, because they started two months after everyone else, but when I saw the talent in that class, I asked, would you like to form your own team?" Rodrique explained.
That team became the overall champion.
Dylan Folds is a team captain.
"The sensors will sense the water. It's supposed to have a bucket, and it will come down and pick up the water," Folds said.
Students rely on critical thinking and teamwork to design, build and program a robot.
It starts with a prototype.
Aaron Twietmyer is also a team captain.
"I'm working on a machine thing that can take hydrogen from the air and turn it into water. it's a prototype, so it doesn't work right now," Twietmyer said.
One of the main pieces is actually video1234a lego.
Students researched how to help villages where women and children spend 6 hours a day to bring clean water back to their homes.
"They also researched how these villages could pay for it with microloans from the world bank," Rodrique said.
The real-life applications of math and science concepts make a future in technology, a possibility.
April Guo-Yue is a Project Manager for one of the robotics teams.
"What attracted me to robotics is that I'm seeing a lot of development in computer science. The best part of my experience is to see my team and myself grow," Guo-Yue said.
The state competition is this Saturday, February 10th at Mississippi College.