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Kalamazoo middle school robotics team to compete in Texas

A student in green shirt kneels and places miniature rubber ducks on a round platform. The robot is next to the platform.
Jalen Williams
/
WMUK
Student Miguel Cruz-Davis at robotics practice earlier this month.

Sixth through eighth graders from Linden Grove and Hillside middle schools are headed to an international competition.

Kalamazoo middle school robot-builders are headed to Texas to compete with high schoolers around from the globe. They are hoping to secure a FIRST Technical Challenge World Championship.
 
The Linden Grove ZooBOTix team will be competing Wednesday through Friday in Houston. That's after winning a state championship in December.

Head Coach Marc Dyksterhouse said since then, the team has been preparing intensively for Worlds.

“We spent January, February, March and now we are well into April. We come in here and meet twice a week," Dyksterhouse said at a practice at the Comstock STEM Academy last week. (Though the students are from Kalamazoo, the STEM Academy meets their practice needs.)

The team meets "two-plus hours a night, fine tuning what we had worked before and making some nice enhancements to go to worlds with."

Henry Applegate, a seventh-grader at Linden Grove is in his first year on the team.

"When I first signed up, I did not expect this, but we worked really hard and I'm really proud we got to have this experience," he said.

Eighth-grader Aiden Dyksterhouse said he was "very" excited about going to Texas.

"Tournaments are always a lot of fun," he said.