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Students compete using engineering

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Hundreds of students showed off their engineering and technical skills Saturday afternoon at the great plains technology center.

This is the third year that the VEX Robotics competition has come to Lawton, bringing in teams from all over the state. Fifty-seven teams from elementary school all the way through to high school showed up to compete in skills, programming and task competitions with the robots they built themselves. Keith Flores, one of the competitors, says this is his second year competing and he has spent a lot of man hours building his robot.

"I worked on it during the summer so I have spent a lot of time on it. I've built it twice. I built a prototype and I built a new one. So I spent a lot of time on it," said Flores.

Flores says competing with his robot can be a roller coaster of emotion.

"The robot doesn't work. I've got to fix something and sometimes I'll do really good and normal maintenance," said Flores.

Jocelyn McClure says this is her first time coming to the competition, with her three teammates.

"Whenever I got four points I was so excited and I told my Mom and she was so excited for us because I mean it was our first try and usually some people they get zero, but they still did there best," said McClure.

Trecia Karinshak is a pre-engineering teacher who helps to plan this competition every year. Karinshak says her favorite part about the competition is how student driven it is.

"The students brainstorm their robot. They design their robot. They build their robot. They go out and compete then they get to comeback. It is not a one and done opportunity," said Karinshak.

Karinshak says she wants to see more local students starting to learn robotics at a young age so that it will catch on in Southwest Oklahoma.

"I personally am on a mission to see robotics grow in Southwest Oklahoma. It's very strong up in the Northeast part of the state and I want to see Southwest Oklahoma have this opportunity for these students," said Karinshak.

 The winners from this competition will go on to compete in the state competition in Tahlequah on March 5, 2016.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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