A local group of girls heading to their regional qualifying round has hopes of making it to Arizona to represent Albuquerque in a championship robotics competition.
The competition is not only teaching students about space and NASA, but they’re also learning life skills they say will help when they enter the workforce.
Biohazard Robotics Detail has been preparing for this moment for months.
“They’ve been working on it diligently since September. Lately, we’ve been meeting anywhere from 16 to 24 hours a week,” said the girls’ coach, Cyndi Anastasio.
This week, the team made of girls ranging in grades 7th-11th, have been putting the final touches on their robot, getting it ready to compete against more than 20 teams from Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico at the “FIRST Tech Challenge.”
The team was tasked with creating a robot that measures a foot and a half all around and is able to complete challenges, simulating a robot on Mars, picking up minerals and rocks to take back to earth to analyze.
“They’re kind of getting the kids riled up and interested in NASA and space programs,” said Cyndi.
Carina Anastasio is the brains behind the team.
“I talked my mom into coaching and we formed a team,” said Carina.
Carina says this is the second time they’re competing as a team. She feels they’re ready, despite a few bumps in the road.
“We overcame those and I feel strong going into the competition,” said Carina.
In addition to learning about science, technology and space, Carina says this competition will teach them valuable life skills.
“We have to go in front of judges and talk about what we’ve done. A lot of that is simulating what you would do for a job interview. The robotics part is what do you do when something is not working. How do you troubleshoot it? What are the right steps? If there is ever a conflict in the team, how do you handle it and how do you be the most respectful to your coworkers?” said Carina.
The team leaves Friday morning for this weekend’s competition in Alamogordo.
They will compete again in Albuquerque on Jan. 26.
If they do well, they will move on to the championship in Flagstaff at the end of February.
For more information on the competition, click here.