Robots are taking over the world! Well, maybe they're not quite taking over the world, but they did take over Sultana High School recently.


On March 20, Sultana High School hosted the VEX Robotics Clean Sweep Competition in Sultan Hall. Teams representing 18 California and Nevada schools, including last year's World Cup winners from Simi Valley, built programmable remote control robots from a combination of parts donated by sponsoring company VEX and parts purchased to fit the competition's specifications.


The competition consisted of a series of matches in which the robots had 20 seconds on their own to show what they were programmed to do. After that, the teams took control of their robots for two minutes, and the teams attempted to place the most balls on the other side of a divider bisecting the battle arena. The teams struggled to not only direct their robots to move the various balls to the opponent's side, but also block balls from ending up on their side.


Students from Sultana's automotive class competed in the event. Auto shop teacher Jay Winters chose nine students who were succeeding academically and who worked in an organized manner.


Sultana entered three teams into the competition: the Unicorn Grenades, French Toast Mafia and Ranchero Rattlers.


The Unicorn Grenades placed second out of the competition and competed in the world championships in Texas on April 21.


Two of the robots the Unicorn Grenades used in the competition were donated by Central Valley and one was built by scratch. The robots donated to SHS were not in good condition, allowing the auto shop students to learn through rebuilding and modifying the robots,


"For us, it was really stressful," said a member of SHS team.