Socorro Independent School District students showcased their talent and knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at the 2019 UIL BEST Robotics competition.
William D. Slider Middle School and Montwood, Americas, Eastlake and El Dorado high schools participated in the recent competition.
“Our students did extremely well this year,” said Veronica De Avila, career and technical education facilitator. “Students were tasked with finding a solution to a real life natural disaster where they had to use their robots to repair electrical lines and supply electricity to an area.”
From the 24 El Paso and New Mexico teams that competed, Montwood won the overall prize. El Dorado and Slider also took home awards for their engineering notebook and exhibit.
The Rams, who are now advancing to the state contest, won first place in the UIL team category, first place in the marketing presentation, and first place for their engineering notebook. The Rams also won two second place awards for their robotics game performance and the coveted BEST Award.
“Our team has come a long way from four years ago,” said Jesus Hernandez, a senior and Montwood robotics president. “We have worked very hard to come up with better plans on how we approach things, and to see it all work out is an amazing experience. I am looking forward to seeing how we fare against other Texas and New Mexico area teams at state. I have high expectations.”
Slider won second place for their engineering notebook, which is a comprehensive report where students document potential solutions, their design process and strategies they employ.
“We are extremely proud of our students,” said Sophia Benavidez, Slider co-coach and team mentor. “They did really well and had to go up against high school and early college students at this competition. They produced nothing but quality work. By the time they get to high school they will be phenomenal.”
El Dorado won third place for best team exhibit, which is the visual display of the project. The Aztecs also placed third for the interview, a category in which students share knowledge and understanding of their work.
“Competing at BEST was a good experience,” said Julissa Artiaga, a senior at El Dorado. “When you’re in robotics you have fun and build a family. Students should join because there is something for everyone, like marketing, programming and team spirit. It teaches you professionalism, life lessons, and the importance of working as a team.”