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JHS Students Prepare for the Third Annual Robo-Challenge

Several Joplin High School students are hoping to build a life saving first responder.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Several Joplin High School students are hoping to build a life saving first responder. Students in a pre-engineering course are gearing up for the 3rd Annual Robo-Challenge in hopes of building their best device to help emergency responders in life or death situations. 

"It gives them the opportunity to problem solve. It gives them the opportunity to work together as teams. Communication is very key and there's nothing like a deadline to promote that and really get them excited," said Deonna Anderson, Franklin Tech Engineering Instructor. 

For the last six weeks, a group of Joplin students have been practicing designing and building a robot on the spot.

"You put the parts together and you hope that it works and you solve the problems that it has. So you basically learn from your mistakes and you perfect your robot to exactly the way you want it to be," said Annie Strickling, Joplin High School 10th Grader. 

This is Annie Strickling's first experience with electronic engineering. She's gained a new kind of respect for people in this field because it's a very tedious craft. 

"We switch two of our wires and it ended up going backwards and so we had to figure that out and switch it. Then we had two other wires switched and two wheels on this side would go forward, and these ones would go backwards so it would just go in a circle, so we had to switch those two. So the wiring is very specific and detailed," said Strickling.

All these problems must be figured out before Tuesday's competition. The device must be able to search a never-before-seen building, locate a victim and/or recover cargo within a certain amount of time. 

"So it's kind of a hit and miss thing. You hope it works because every time you touch it, it takes points away," said Strickling. 

The goal is to trust the robot and your team mates like a first responder would during a life threatening situation. 

"Just like you would if you were on a true disaster site, you would never get to see the building. You'd be outside and you'd have to solve that by what you actually see from the robots point of view," said Anderson. 

The challenges will take place tomorrow at Franklin Tech at 8:50 a.m. and 2:05 p.m.

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