Chris Schulz Published

W.Va. Holds First High School Robotics Competition

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Many of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation were in Fairmont Monday morning to commemorate the state’s first high school robotics competition.

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, as well as Rep. Carol Miller were at Fairmont State University Monday morning to cheer on high school teams from all over the state at the first West Virginia Robotics Championship.

“I’m really excited about what we see today,” Capito said. “The teams, they’re from all over the state, but they’re also different ages, and they’re also mixed boys and girls together. Everybody can participate here and mentor one another.”

Teamwork – both between humans and between humans and robots – was a focus of the comments delivered by Morgantown-born astronaut Andrew Morgan.

“Today, you’re here as a team, and you’ll win or lose as a team,” Morgan said. “But teams are made of great team players. As astronauts, we want crewmates that are great at being team players.”

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy was also on hand and highlighted the importance of robotics for upcoming lunar missions.

“What you’re doing today is incredibly important, because we’re going to do science differently on the surface of the moon,” Melroy said. “We think that the future of science in space is going to be human robotic teaming, meaning that you will work together with robots.”

This is the first year robotics is recognized as a high school co-curricular activity under the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission.