The Thought Bots are at it again – but this time, they’ll travel all the way to California.
After taking second place at the state competition in Anchorage this February, the Skagway School robotics team has been invited to Legoland in Carlsbad, CA, to compete in nationals this week.
Over the course of three days, the team will be judged on an educational app they created, their ability to work together and matches between robots.
While very similar to the state competition, this tournament should be much more relaxed, as the students will have three days to complete all of the tasks, rather than just the one at state, said coach Heather Rodig.
The team will compete against 76 other teams, including teams from Japan and Egypt, with robot Shock by their side. Bolt has been retired.
Skagway School hasn’t been invited to nationals since 2012. This year, the Thought Bots will be the only school from Alaska.
Just a few days before the team set out for California, Shock presented some challenges, and they had to “reprogram a bit,” but then, all ran smoothly, Rodig said.
When the team isn’t participating in robotics, they will be venturing around Legoland and soaking up the sun on the beach.
“That’s all the kids want to do on their day off,” Rodig said.
If the Thought Bots place in this competition, they will return to Skagway with bragging rights.  And Rodig thinks they have a pretty good chance.
“I think they are mentally and physically prepared to do extremely well,” Rodig said.  “They are very confident in their presentations.”
The team has raised more than $16,000 from the community to go on the trip.