Tech-minds face off in robotics competition at Olathe Northwest High School

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Hundreds of metro students went head-to-head Saturday in a local robotics competition. After months of preparation, the battle happened at Olathe Northwest High School, where tech-minded students competed for a shot at nationals.

Competitor Evan Hiemstra said planning started nearly seven months ago.

"We originally just had sheets of paper, and just wrote down all of our ideas and designs and then we pretty much came together and decided on the general shape of what we are going to do," Hiemstra said.

Each team tried to build a robot from scratch, building upon concepts they learned in math, physics, and engineering courses.

"We didn't buy it; we didn't go to the store and buy this. We didn't have anyone build it for us. We created the parts; we sent it to the manufacturers; they cut it and we put it together," said Olathe Northwest student Elijah Kritzll.

Students said win or lose, the real reward is knowledge. They hope to build up skills they can take with them into the workforce.

"I knew I wanted to do engineering, but I really like the mechanics behind it of how things work, and it definitely helps give you experience because we built this from scratch," said competitor Jack Cashman.

This is the third time this event has been held at Olathe Northwest.

The national championship takes place in Pennsylvania in May.

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