TYLER, Texas (KETK) — The Douglas Elementary School Wildcat Robotics team competed for the world champion title in the CoderZ League Junior against Singapore on Thursday morning.

The group of six third through fifth-grade students competed live on Twitch while fellow classmates and family members cheered them on.

“It’s the first time that we’ve made it this far… I’m proud of my team and myself, I’m proud of us,” said Angelica Rodriguez, fifth grader and robotics team captain.

The team made it to the World Championship because they won the competition for the central United States region.

Rodriguez said she has been in robotics for two years, so it was easier for her to code because it was her second year. As the team captain, Rodriguez was able to catch the rest of the team up to her level.

“I felt inspired, I felt like my team felt inspired… I think they felt proud of themselves,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that when she grows up she wants to be a doctor and have someone build a robot for her to code to do surgeries that cannot be done with her hands to help her save people’s lives.

Robotics sponsor Catherine Lengua said the students competed against a school in Singapore.

CoderZ has taught the students how to code through games, and as they coded more, they met different requirements for competitions, Lengua said.

“The kids developed a code that we were able to turn into the world finals and that code is what was being used,” Lengua said.

Lengua said they have mostly competed against middle schools.

“Our kids are exceptional,” Lengua said. “They are able to code at high levels… one of the games that they participated had to do with lasers and mirrors.”

Lengua said the level of coding involved mathematics that the students haven’t even learned yet in school.


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