Central Park Elementary, Cope Middle School, and Benton High School earned first place trophies at the first competition of the Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit on Saturday.

Sixty-four teams from elementary, middle, and high schools in Bossier, Caddo, Lincoln, Natchitoches, and Webster Parishes competed in the challenge held at the Bossier Parish Community College gymnasium. Enthusiastic parents and friends cheered on the teams as they participated in one-on-one sumo contests, which required teams to program an autonomous robot (no remote controls) to locate, attack, and push its opponent out of the sumo ring. Because teams were pitted against one another based on their robot platform, LEGO® NXT or boe-bot, elementary teams were able to flex their skills against middle and high schools students.

The teams earned points based on their performance at the competition and were ranked accordingly. Central Park Elementary’s CPE Sparks team emerged as the first place winner in the elementary division after a final face-off with Curtis Elementary. In the middle school division, the Cope Middle School Oppressors earned first place while the Benton Middle School Tigers 1 and Cope Middle School LEGO Masters took second and third place, respectively. The Cyber Punks of Benton High School won first place in the high school division followed by Southwood Blue from Southwood High School in second place and the Tech Titans from Bossier Parish Technical High School in third place.

“The teams should be very proud of the skills and ingenuity they exhibited during the matches. This is only the first of four competitions in the circuit so I predict the number of teams and the skill level will continue grow with each event,” said G.B. Cazes, Director of Academic Outreach and Workforce Development at the Cyber Innovation Center.

The Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit is a series of four robotics competitions offered by the Cyber Innovation Center in partnership with Bossier Parish Community College, Louisiana Tech University, Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, and Bossier Parish Schools. Students in grades 4-12 from schools across the region are eligible to participate in one or all of the competitions that are scheduled throughout the 2011-2012 school year. Teams are encouraged to participate in all the competitions as they build upon one another and provide the teams with an opportunity to increase their skills. Also, teams earn points based on their performance at each competition and those points are added to points earned at future competitions in the circuit. At the conclusion of the final competition in May 2012, grand champions in each division will be named based on the accumulation of points and those teams will be awarded trophies and technology awards for their schools.

The second competition in the Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit will be held on Saturday, November 5 at the Bossier Civic Center. To learn more about the Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit, please visit http://cyberinnovationcenter.org/academic-outreach/upcoming-competitions/.