Deerpark Middle School Robotics team will advance to the Regional Invitational Tournament being held in San Antonio in February.

To achieve first place and qualify for the regional competition, the team competed against 14 other teams and were judged in the categories of teamwork, robot build, program design, research and the number of points their automated robot earned on the competition mat.

“These competitions teach students that they are capable of anything,” said Shannon Sieber, Deerpark instructional technology instructor. “A week before the competition the team scored below where they needed to be. But they worked hard, made smart decisions and learned they could do anything they put their minds to.”

To prepare for the competition the team created a solution to help coral reefs threatened by oil spills by introducing an oil-degrading bacteria that mitigates harm to reefs. Their work included building and programming an autonomous robot that navigates predetermined obstacles and preparing a research project which suggested how to improve interactions between humans and animals.

“First Lego League is so much more than programming a robot,” said Sieber. “Students build life long friends and grow incredible amounts of confidence by participating in the program.”

Deerpark robotic team members are eighth grade students Christopher Bland, Joey Nannen, Archita Amudhan, Dahlia Philip, Ben Li; seventh grade students Jason Darmawan, Vi-an Ho and sixth grade students Matthew Evans, Lacey Conley, Eva Moseley​.