DETROIT (WXYZ) -- Friday was an exciting rally for the Detroit High School Robotics Team heading into the World Robotics Championship.
Fun is an understatement to describe the energy in the school's language immersion and cultural studies center. The Mumford High School marching band and dance team cheered everyone on.
Techno Phoenix Team #14010 won the state championship. In a few days, they will compete with students from 40 other countries in the first World Robotics Championship in Houston, Texas. It will be held from April 19 to 23.
Their coach says they are the junior high school team from the Detroit Public School District.
Tynisha Powell, 14, told 7 Action News, "I'm so excited because I've been doing robotics since fourth grade and it's so much fun." This is a community where you can be accepted."
"As a team from Detroit, we've come a long way to get here, and once we knew we made it, we saw people accepting us and realizing how important it was to us," says 13-year-old Aslan Fleming. said.
Their coach, Leon Prior, said the team won the Infusion Award for helping improve robotics in the region and explained that robotics is the path to further success.
"We like to put a lot of energy into sports, but if you pick basketball, you have a 0.005% chance of going to the NBA. I think 0.4% going to a Division 1 high school. All my kids can go pro. ." he said.
"Anyone can become a professional engineer," Pryor added.
Whether they go into STEM fields or not, the skills they develop will help them in any career and as adults, he says.
"Now they can look at a problem and solve it, consciously find a solution and be successful, then look at that solution and ask, is this good enough? Maybe better? Can I push myself at a higher level?" Pryor explained.
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said Pryor was a mentor and friend.
"I want to congratulate the Techno Phoenix team who I think will win the World Cup," he told the students present.
Gilchrist said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration continues to fund robotics in Michigan.
"We have teams from almost every state because we understand that these are experiences that prepare young people for success in the classroom, success in life, success in college and success in their careers," he said. .