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King's Robotic Teams Leave for Championships

Worldwide competition begins Wednesday in St. Louis.

Today, the robotics team,, flew out of Seattle on the way to St. Louis to compete in FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship, which begins Wednesday and continues through Saturday. 
 
Earlier in the day, school staff, the Knights mascot, the cheer team and other King’s Schools students were on hand on campus to wish the robotics team luck as they depart for the competition. There are two teams from the school, CyberKnights #3717 and CyberDaze #4590.
 
The students, ranging from 15 to 19 years old, have completed more than 4,200 hours planning, developing and building working robots to showcase in the international competition.
 
The FIRST Challenge welcomes more than 128 teams and 10,000 students from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands.The FIRST Tech program provides students with hands-on science and technology experience and access to $14.7 million in college scholarships for 2011.

At King’s Schools, it’s not the robots who are programming humans. It’s the other way around.

“It’s a sport for the 21st century,” said Mike Thompson, who teaches robotics at the school. Thompson spoke to the team at the school, as did assistant principal Jeff Geers. “This is all about preparing students for a career in technology and engineering. They get an understanding of life as an engineer, what it takes to build something from scratch.”

King’s competed at the robotics world championship last year for the first time, finishing in the top 20.

Making his first trip is senior Win Lessley, 18. He raised about $800 for the trip over the summer. “I learned about the program last year and thought it would be a lot of fun,” said Lessley. “I always played football and thought it was getting kind of old.”

Lessley will be an engineering student next year at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

You can follow the King's robotic team in St. Louis on Twitter with the account team3717. To get updates, you can also go to Mike Thompson's website. The matches will also be streamed online.

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