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High schoolers send robots into battle at Waterloo competition

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Thirty robots went head to head, battling for machine supremacy at the University of Waterloo FIRST Robotics Competition on Saturday.

The event is one of eight district championships held across the province.

Teams made up of local high-schoolers design, build and program their mechanical marvels, which are capable for grabbing, carrying and balancing different objects.

“Waterloo has a reputation of being a preview for not only the Ontario championships but sometimes even the world championships," said competition manager William Neal. "We’ve had some of the very finest teams in the world come to the Waterloo region.”

More than a dozen teams could advance to the provincial championships, and from there, possibly reach the world championships in Houston.

“It’s a life transforming process for many of these students and these teams,” Neal said.

A team makes last minute adjustments to their machine. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

But the real prize is the experience the event offers and the doors it can open.

Neal says millions of dollars of scholarship money have been handed out at the event over the years.

"I’ve learned so much, I know this is what I want to do after high school," said Chloe Bogaert, a member of the team FRC2702 Rebels. "I know I want to go into a job like this.”

Members of team FRC2702 Rebels, including Chloe Bogaert (right), appear during an interview with CTV News. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

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