STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Over 100 students from elementary, middle and high schools were in Starkville on Saturday for a hands-on workshop.
It's an event where students embrace the idea of testing their creative skills.
Whether it's using their intelligence, a little extra computing power or following some simple guidelines from people who know to take their knowledge to the next level, the challenge is to construct and operate a robot.
"It does get a little tense sometimes when you [have] competition, especially when the robot doesn't want to work right," adds Hallie Westbrook, student. "It is fun. It's always new every year; it's always interesting."
With the students split into two different groups based on age -- junior 4-Hers are 8 to 13 and seniors are 14 to 18 -- the challenge of building and operating a robot changes each year.
"They're going to be working on their very own badge system that's new this year," adds Mariah Smith, assistant extension professor with Center for Technology Outreach. "The seniors are going to be starting off with Robot C; that's a really great programming language for the seniors to know as they get ready to head off to college."
This marks the third year in a row the robotics kickoff has been held on the campus of Mississippi State University and each year this event continues to grow. In fact, there are students from thirty counties in the Magnolia State who are here to build robots.
"We're brining new kids that are getting introduced to science, technology, engineering and math. It is very exciting," adds Smith. "We have new volunteers that are coming on board."
The students say it's rewarding in multiple ways to construct, program and operate your very own robot.
"[I like] meeting all the people that have the same interest that I do," adds Nathan Rodgers, student. "The challenge of learning something new [is powerful.]"
"I really like it because I always said I want to build a robot to clean my room and now I am into building robots," added Belle Failla, student. "It's cool because now I get to think [about] how actual people get to build robots and how it helps out with the environment and stuff. It's making me open my mind to explore different areas."
The students meet monthly at their local extension office.
The competition for seniors is in the month of May this year at Club Congress.
The Junior 4-H-ers' competition will be held in June at four different locations across the state.