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Westmoreland

Student-made robots to battle at WCCC

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, 7:45 p.m.

More than 1,000 students from 63 schools in southwestern Pennsylvania, including 11 in Westmoreland County, will battle each other with 15-pound robots at the regional competition at the Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood on March 16 and 17.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ preliminary competition will feature 64 BotsIQ teams that will compete for a spot in the finals to be held April 13 and 14 at California University of Pennsylvania. The bouts begin each day at 10:30 a.m. and the preliminaries and finals are free and open to the public.

The students who will compete at BotsIQ are from public, private, career and technical education schools, home schools and qualifying youth-serving organizations.

“These young men and women have spent countless hours designing, machining, building and testing their Bots in preparation for the preliminaries and finals,” Michel Conklin, BotsIQ executive director, said in a statement.

Conklin, a former middle school science teacher, said the students have learned that building things is fun, yet challenging and offers them a potential career. The participants develop technical skills in engineering, machining and welding, along with 21st-century skills.

BotsIQ is a manufacturing workforce development program of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Foundation and is affiliated with the National Robotics League and is managed by New Century Careers in Pittsburgh.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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