Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Local students build life skills, and robots

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BATON ROUGE - Many high school students choose something along the lines of football, or cheerleading, for their extracurricular activities. But some Woodlawn High students are riding the wave of the future - building robots.

Woodlawn is Baton Rouge's first and only public high school to partake in the FIRST Competition, which pits teams across the country against each other to build the best robot.

"I wanted to be a part of something and it sounded like a good program, and all my friends really enjoyed it," said Caryl Lester, a Woodlawn sophomore in her first year on the robotics team.

Teams get only six weeks to construct their robot from scratch, and often have to raise their own money for parts.

Daniel Eiland, the Woodlawn teacher in charge of the team, hopes his students can not only build for the future, but their future careers, as well.

"What do they want in an employee?" said Eiland.  "Do they want to see an employee that comes out of college green? Never touched anything, just classroom learning? Or would they rather see an employee that is able to build something from day one?"

The FIRST local regional runs March 21-23 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.  The five teams representing baton Rouge are Woodlawn, Episcopal High School, Parkview Baptist, East Ascenion and Catholic High.


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