Hockaday Wins Robotics Tournament

FIRST LEGO League celebrates 10 years in North Texas. (Jersean Golatt / Perot Museum)

The Hockabots are headed to the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Houston.

The team of students from the Hockaday School won the right to advance to the April 18 to 21 competition with a first place champions award finish at the 10th-annual North Texas FIRST Lego League Regional Championship Robotics Tournament in February.

Nearly 600 North Texas students in 60 teams competed Feb. 3 at Parish Episcopal School and Community Center.

The organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) works to motivate new generations to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology.

In 1998, FIRST Founder Dean Kamen and the owner of the Lego Group Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen created the FIRST Lego League.

The North Texas regional tournament, produced by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and presented by Lockheed Martin, matched student-built robots competing with missions on a water-themed playing field.

Riya Guttigoli and Sophia Yung (front right) of the “Hockabots” compete in a robotics match as their teammates look on. (Jersean Golatt / Perot Museum)

This year’s journey began in August 2017, when 4,350 North Texas students ages 9-14 – and approximately 284,000 students worldwide – received the “hydro dynamics” theme.

They spent months studying, dissecting, and analyzing real-world challenges and coming up with solutions using science and technology.

Qualifying rounds took place in December and January.

“It’s competitive, high-energy and, best of all, an incredibly fun gateway for students to pursue careers in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math),” said Linda Abraham-Silver, CEO of the Perot Museum.