For the first time in school history, two Red Lick ISD teams are advancing to the TCEA State Robotics Competition in Hutto, Texas on April 24. The students earned their state advancements through wild card positions. They began working on the competition, which includes students in grades 4-12, in mid to late October.

The Game Changers team, which consists of sixth graders and first-year robotics students Adyen Kingery and Noah Craigen, placed fourth at the TCEA Robotics Competition on Jan. 28 in the Advanced Inventions category. The purpose of their robot was to cut set up and procedural time for family game night, leaving more time for play. 

“The neatest thing about the competition was talking to the judges,” Kingery said. “But, getting everything ready for the day was difficult.”

The Aquamen, an eighth grade team consisting of Simon Adams, Carson Baczek, and Reid Hartridge, are also first-year robotics students. They placed just behind the Game Changers in fifth place. The purpose of their robot was to deliver water bottles to athletes during a game or practice and possibly to eliminate the need for waterboys. 

“When I found out we were getting to go to state, I was overjoyed and surprised,” Hartridge said. “But, I immediately started thinking of ways to improve our robot.”

Last year, when the TCEA competition was virtual, one Red Lick Middle School team received Most Innovative Design for the region. Other previous awards for the robotics program were in the First Lego League in 2010 and 2014.