White Plains robotics team brings home the hardware

Hats off to these fifth graders from White Plains Middle School in Calhoun County.

They finished first in a state-wide robotics competition, including beating out several high school teams.

White Plains was the only middle school to notch a perfect score. They topped 30 other teams from around the state.

These students will tell you, building a robot and trying to program it comes with a lot of trial and error. Problem solving on the fly.

These skills are what the Alabama Math, Science, Technology Initiative - AMSTI seeks to instill in students.

"I love building these things, it's so fun and you get to be creative with your ideas and designs," says team member Jamie Jenkins.A computer system programs the robot, allowing it to operate different obstacles and mazes. White Plains assistant principal, Chad Martin says AMSTI gives these students a "hands on" approach to learning about science and technology.

Which can lead to future success outside the classroom. "The more hands on the students can be with the information you're giving them, the more they're going to be able to explore and get the rigor as they move on to our state testing and as they get older and go to the job market," says Martin.

The students are already gearing up for their next competition in September in Huntsville.