Ranchero Middle School's Robotics team took second place at state championships recently in Santa Clara. The win secures them a spot in the middle school division of VEX Robotics World Championship in April held in Anaheim and the International Championship in July held in Hawaii.


The seven-member team of two girls and four boys is coached by Ranchero math teacher James Carter and assisted by science teacher Mike Aguilar who both are just as excited as the students.


"The students put in a lot of hours building their robots and practicing their skills," Carter said. "It was an honor to see the payoff and a reward for the kids."


"It was a great experience," eighth grader Ryan Jara said.


"Knowing that your robot is good enough to win is amazing," said Zachary Bone, the key driver in the final match. "It was absolutely exciting because now we are going to the world championships."


The students are now back putting in hours to prepare for the upcoming competition held at the Anaheim Convention Center from April 23 to 26. Qualifying rounds are during the week with the finals on that Saturday.


Principal Cindy Costa said she's proud of the robotics team. She met with them prior to the competition to encourage them to "work together."


Hesperia Unified School District is the only district in California to have robotics in grades K-12. It is part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program promoted in schools.