- Associated Press - Sunday, April 16, 2017

MACON, Ga. (AP) - A team of Georgia high school students is taking its custom-built robot “Sandman” to the world championships.

Bibb County’s robot team won first place in the state FIRST Robotics Competition in Athens earlier this month, The Telegraph reported (https://bit.ly/2oDtKX6).

Now, the RoboBibb team will put its robot to the ultimate test at the championships that begin in Houston, Texas, Wednesday through Saturday.

They will compete against groups from across the United States and international teams during the 2017 FIRST Championship.

RoboBibb has about 40 members, and the same 14 who went to the state event will go to Texas.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of those guys,” said Carole Myers, the club’s lead adviser and a computer science teacher at Howard High School.

“To see them be able to win an event, much less a state event, that was something,” she said. “They were beside themselves. They’re still on cloud nine.”

The club began in 2013 and made it to the world event that year. It’s open to all ninth- through 12th-graders in Bibb County and currently has participants from Central, Rutland and Howard high schools and Academy for Classical Education charter school.

The students had six weeks to build a robot that could perform tasks involving gears and climbing. They met at Howard High for three or four hours every Monday through Thursday and five or six hours on Saturdays, Myers said.

Experts from the community also volunteered their time to help the students with their project.

“We are still gaining experience by leaps and bounds,” Myers said. “They have really come together as a team. It’s just a good group of kids, and they’ve really jelled.”

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