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Local School Headed To First Robotics Championships

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The Westminster Christian Academy is entering the FIRST Robotics Championships.

"This is our first year," said Boeing team mentor Paul DeGroot. "Everybody involved in the team has been a rookie."

Were the Westminster Cyborg Cats worried?

"Nope," said team member Lauren Moore.  "No. I think we'll be great.  We got a lot of compliments at regionals, that said a lot of teams didn't really know we were rookies."

No nerves here. Even these high-schoolers from Westminster Christian Academy were scheduled to face 400 teams from around the world.  Robots will shoot hoops at the Edward Jones Dome.  DeGoot said he, too, is new to the contest.  He added that these teens are tough.

"Very aggressive schedule," DeGroot pointed out.  "I mean this whole project is 6 weeks.  We were working everyday and every Saturday on this project, trying to get it to completion."

The team has been busy.  This is one of two practice robots the group built.  The competition robot has been packed up for delivery to the dome.

"It's been rewarding to see how much the kids have been finding out about engineering and being able to do stuff with their hands," DeGroot said.  "Not just so much bookwork."

DeGroot - who is also an engineer  -- might have been happy to learn rising senior and med-school hopeful Moore never considered a career in engineering, until now.

"There are ways to incorporate my passion for the medical field with the engineering side of things," she said.

The regional champs say even if they don't win the world championship at the Dome, teams everywhere will know these new kids on the block can build like veterans.

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