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Students show off their tech skills at Buc Days Robotics Rodeo

This is an opportunity to celebrate students and their STEM backgrounds as they participate in activities and compete for $10,000 in cash prizes.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — More than 300 students, from kindergarten all the way to high school seniors, participated in the Robotics Rodeo at Buc Days, Saturday afternoon.

Some travelled from Austin, Houston, Laredo, and even the valley to participate in activities and compete for $10,000 in cash prizes. 

This is an opportunity to celebrate students and their STEM backgrounds to show what they've learned all year and make their families proud.

"We're really looking forward to this being our first of many years to be hosting this competition," Buc Days Commissioner Mark Avelar said. "What we admire about this program, it teaches creativity, technology, and more important leadership skills, working as a team." 

Student competitor Daniel Perez had a delayed introduction into the world of robotics. "I didn't know about it, freshman year, sophomore year," he said. "I was grateful for the opportunity presented to me, when they were telling me about robotics. That really got me into it." 

Perez has come a long way since then. He is here now managing a robotics team while representing his school in Austin.

"It really means a lot when we see events like this, because we're able to join heads together and talk about programs, and how we can better impact the community as well," said Perez.

$10,000 in cash prizes is a pretty nice motivator for students as well.

Executive Director of FIRST in Texas Jason Arms told 3NEWS, "Amazing things happen when two nonprofits work together. With the Buccaneers Commission, and with First In Texas working together, we're able to do this signature event."

Arms has a strategic way of implementing their core values and professionalism through teamwork. "It's a lot more than just the robot, there's conflict resolution, 21st century learning, all sorts of other great skills that we teach to kids in environments like this, a safe environment."

Students were not only proud of their creations, they were also happy to work together as a team. Robotics creates a safe space for students like Perez to excel and become future leaders of tomorrow.

"We had a student get almost a full ride because of robotics. So, it really means a lot what robotics can do for you, and what it can do for the community and your future as well," said Perez.

FIRST in Texas gives out $80,000,000 worth of scholarships every year. To learn more about the global organization, visit their website at firstintexas.org.

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