San Ysidro High robotics to compete in national championship

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SAN YSIDRO, Calif.  -- The Cougarbots, the robotics club at San Ysidro High School, have won a spot in the U.S. Open Robotics Championship in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

"This is the first time we've ever won this," said Ricky Cota.

Getting to the competition is another story.

"We are a club and not sanctioned by CIF at point we don’t receive any funding from the school or the district," said Carrie Northum, club coach.

Northum said the club does receive some sponsorship from the U.S. Army, but that money has been spent on local competitions.  The national competition in Iowa is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"For most of these kids, it will be the first time they’ve ever been on an airplane," said Northum.

The club was started three years ago and since then, the club meets twice a week for at least two hours each meeting.

"It's a real student driven project.  These guys design, modify and even write code for these robots," said Northum.

Since July, the teens have been working to build a better bot for the national competition in Iowa.

"This year's game is called, "Nothing, but Net," said Northum.

" We want to have the opportunity to shoot at every angle," said Cota.

It's basically robot basketball, the team demonstrated the robots for FOX 5, capable of picking up and shooting balls.

"It's getting there, we're just making the final touches," said Jesse Sanchez.

They are award winning touches, the Cougarbots have won several local competitions, but if they win in Iowa, it will be a first.

"Not just for our club, but the first time any club or team from our entire school has been invited to any national competition," said Northum.

If you'd like to help the Cougarbots, you can send donations to San Ysidro High Robotics Club or donate to the club's  GoFundMe page.

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