PARKLAND, FL- The Heron Heights Robotics Team is headed to state. In just its fourth year of existence, the school will have representation at the South Florida State Competition against 50 other teams on March 8th in Miami.

The Heron Heights Robotics team began to organize four years ago when 4th and 5th grade students were using Lego Robotics after school. Teacher Angela Gibson began to coach the students. She could see their potential and began to further develop robotics in the school. As interest grew, they had a chance to try VEX Robotics, which is used at global robotic competitions. The first year the team had one VEX robot and was on a waiting list for more. This year the Heron Heights program has grown to five robotics teams with five robots.

Fourth grader Isabella is having a blast with the program and its success. "Going to state is a big achievement and teamwork helped us," says Isabella. "Before we were teammates we were good friends," she adds.

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The robotics season runs from November to January, but the Heron Heights group began to meet in September. Practices were held weekly for 90 minutes in advance of the coming season. The season is comprised of a number of robotics competitions that culminate in the state championships in March and the world competition in April. The Heron Heights teams have had significant success this season, including coming in 2nd place for "Robot Skills" and 1st place for the "Energy Award" (creating the most energy with the robot) at the Hawk's Bluff Robolution in Davie. Heron Heights also scored the highest in both programming and coding, which is what led to their state birth. The team is currently preparing for a scrimmage with Riverglades and Westglades on February 27th.

At the world competition on April 22, the new season and game for the following school year will be announced. Once the new game is announced, teams will begin meeting to start brainstorming and building the new robot for the 2020-2021 season.