Two Beaufort County high schools joined with a Charleston County school Saturday to win the inaugural 2014 VEX Robotics Championship in Columbia.
Whale Branch Early College High, Bluffton High and Palmetto Scholars Academy in North Charleston were among the teams that worked for months to design, build, program and direct by remote control the robots that competed in the state's biggest high school robotics competition, according to a news release from the Beaufort County School District.
The three schools formed an alliance during an afternoon, single-elimination tournament; they competed independently in a series of two-minute matches earlier in the day, the release said.
"The kids had a plan, and they executed it perfectly," Whale Branch robotics coach Tammy Vaught said in the release. "It took all three teams working together to win this state championship."
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The students on the Whale Branch "Robo Warriors" were Geordy DelCid, Da'Shawn Smith, Rakeem Pippins, Johnnie Fields, Jerevonte Middleton, Auntarious Butler, Jakob Lambert and Aurora Lopez. The coaches were Vaught and her husband, Allen.
The Bluffton High "Seniors" team members were Jesus Castaneda, Javoy Johnson, Andrew Wetmore and Zach Weis. The coaches were Justin Robinson and Kevin Sandusky.
A second team from Bluffton High was ranked No. 5 after the morning preliminary rounds, but its alliance was defeated in the quarterfinals, according to the release.