West Valley robotics team competing on national stage - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

West Valley robotics team competing on national stage

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

West Valley High School's robotics team is in St. Louis right now, going head to head with hundreds of other schools for the robotics national championship. 

"The students have six weeks to come up with a game strategy, design a robot to meet that game strategy, build and program the robot, then test the prototype," says David Leinweber, a teacher and co-mentor of the WVSD robotics program.   Only then is it ready to compete. 

It wasn't an easy road.  The team had to compete in two district competitions and a regional to earn their spot in St. Louis. 

"It's awesome!  All of our hard work has paid off," says one of the students in the program.  "For me it means that doors are opening."

Leinweber says the program builds technological skills like manufacturing and programming and can give the students a leg up in college.   

"These kids are our future," says Leinweber.  "I always stay on friendly terms with my students because I'm probably going to want a job from them in the future.  It's quite possible we have the next Bill Gates here."

Leinweber says the program is really beneficial for students but is costly. 

There is a fundraiser, Change the World luncheon, at the Red Lion Hotel on May 17th for people to come out and learn about the program. 

The final round of the competition is on Saturday, April 30th.

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