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The Santa Maria High School Robotics Club is getting ready to rumble.

The team and a few engineers from Zodiac Aerospace will hold the Lego NXT Sumo Competition on Wednesday, January 27. Members will be divided into several teams and use the robots they constructed to battle each other at 3:30 p.m. inside room 240.

Students Michael Salas and Sammy Lagunas, who say the club has made them want to pursue careers in engineering, can’t wait.

“This is pretty cool,’’ Salas said. “Building and working as a group is great. Learning about potential career opportunities in the technical and engineering world is fun too.’’

Club members started designing their robots several weeks ago. They have been assembling the kits with basic components (brains and sensors) and Lego parts. There are no set instructions for the kits, just rules for the competition. Students organized the entire event.

Physics Teacher and Club Advisor Ben Wieman believes the students are acquiring life skills.

“The kids are planning, creating, gaining confidence and understanding it takes steps to be successful,’’ Wieman said.

The Zodiac Aerospace engineers, who also mentor the team, recently donated various tools and robotics kits. The students are presently figuring out the best uses for materials.


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