Students compete in robotics competition

MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WOAY) – Student robotics teams gathered at Princeton Middle School on Saturday for the first regional Vex IQ Robotics Competition.

With help from their coaches, kids competed using their own robots. The object of each match was to move yellow and orange cogs around a small arena. Competitors could also earn points by hanging their robot from bar.

Through the extracurricular activity, students learn engineering skills and how to problem solve.

“I like building stuff and its kind of like video games like with the controller and stuff and I like to do fun after-school activities,” said forth grader Laken James.

Students were excited to compete to move on to the state championships February 23.

“I like to work with controllers and I think robots are really cool and I thought it would be fun,” said Leigha James, a fifth grade participant.

The Robotic Bees from Kanawha County took home first place, but it is not clear which teams will compete at the state level next month.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at