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      Student robotic projects win awards at national level

      High school seniors from the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career Tech Center are being recognized for their award-winning robots. The projects were part of the Manufacturing Technology Academy. Students recently entered them in the National Robotic Challenge in Ohio and won several contests within the competition.

      One group was even given the Honda Innovation Award, which is the biggest honor of the competition.

      The students started working in small groups on the concept and design of their robots last October before entering the competition.

      The winning projects include highly accurate robotic arms, the "Garden Defender"- a robot that shoots ping-pong balls at garden pests with the help of motion-sensor technology, and a robotic machine that fills up water glasses to then play and record a melody.

      Amanda Lodge is part of the winning team who designed the robot that fills water glasses, and says it was very rewarding to win the award since they put so much time and effort into their work.

      "It felt pretty great I think just because we put so much time and effort into it," Lodge said." We were pretty honored to have won the Honda Innovation Award because that is the highest award at the competition and only one team receives it out of the 407 that were there."