California High School Robotics Team Ranked Best in the World

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The robotics team at Madera High School in Madera, California, is ranked the number one team in the world, and has recently won an international championship competition in Houston, Texas.

Madera High School’s “Madtown Robotics Team” is currently ranked number one in the world by an outside group tracks the points from all competitions from 4,000 teams around the globe, according to ABC 30 Action News.

The report also notes that robotic teams across the country are given specific instructions and a timeline to build a robot for competitions each year.

“You got to have sense of timing and you got to be ready for the next match. You could possibly lose a match and lose points,” said Madera student John Akana, “So, for us — we pick up a ball. We have a roller and it is able to pick up the ball. Other teams use suction cups to pick up the ball and have crazy arms.”

The fifteen-member robotics team recently went to Houston, Texas — bringing with it over 100 local sponsors — to complete in the “FIRST Robotics Championship,” according to Fox 26 News. Madtown Robotics won the international championship, and currently holds the title for “Best in the World.”

“It’s really insane to think, the Central Valley beat everybody, right? It’s just crazy. I’m still trying to take it in, all this moment. I’m still trying to process it,” said senior Roger Villagomez, one of the captains of Madtown Robotics, who added that he had been working toward this moment since his freshman year.

“We’ve been close a couple times, we’ve been division finalists, so we’ve been really, really close, we’ve had some bad luck, but this year we just tried really hard, the students gave 100%,” said Villagomez.

“I want to study Mechanical Engineering and minor in Civil Engineering,” added the student, “I really want to come back and give back to the community — a little something for what’s given back so much to me.”

When the Madtown Robotics team arrived at the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport to return home, many of the students had proud family members waiting at the Arrivals gate, holding signs and balloons, according to Fox 26 News.

“Year after year, there was a lot of work put into our robot,” said the team’s advisor, Vern Valmonte, “But this year, it seems like the kids put a lot more effort into it. They stayed longer, they worked harder, and they just wanted to be there and work.”

“It’s a win for the whole town, and hopefully it’s a win for the Central Valley,” added Valmonte, “It’s just awesome to have that eagerness to work, and that’s something refreshing to see — especially in education.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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