Ashland students gearing up for world competition

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ASHLAND, Ohio- Mapleton Middle School students in Ashland are quickly ascending to the world stage of robotics, recently qualifying for the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.

It’s quite a feat considering the 8th grade students are in the first year of the program.

“It’s just really good to represent your country,” said 14-year-old Kyle Philips. “This has probably been the best decision I’ve made since 1st grade ’cause it’s such a fun class. We make so many different things and solve so many problems.”

The three-man crew of team Override includes two students, and their coach, who is also their teacher, Craig Wentworth, who says he never imagined success so early on.

“We never expected to get this far,” said Wentworth. “This is a great opportunity for these guys and a good precedent to set for future robotics.”

The only obstacle he says is left to unlock is the financial costs of the trip to Louisville, Kentucky. Wentworth says registration is $1,000, then they have to figure out transportation, lodging and food costs. He says the team is counting on the generosity of the community, in part, for donations.

“In a rural community we don’t get the opportunity to get outside this area much,” said Wentworth about the upcoming trip. “Getting outside of the community to compete with teams from China, New Zealand and talking to teams that don’t speak English.”

Jacob Bates, 13, says this trip will help open a new world of opportunities and he is looking forward to meeting people of different backgrounds.

“To meet people from different countries, learn a little about them what they do for fun,” said Bates.

**You can contact the school to learn how to donate**

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