NewsUplifting Arizona


Desert Ridge High hosts AIA Robotics State Championship in Mesa

The championship showcases 50 teams from around 15 schools in Arizona
Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-10 00:38:03-05

MESA, AZ — The Arizona Interscholastic Association hosted its robotics state championship over the weekend in Mesa.

Students competed in a tournament that amounted to a soccer game with robots.

Each team, consisting of two smaller teams from different schools, puts in the robots they have designed and programmed themselves to win, or at least try.

“It’s not going very great for us specifically, but I think that that’s just because of team management issues that we’ve had. Because we’ve definitely done better before,” said Ananya Lakkaraju, a freshman at Hamilton High

The championship showcases 50 teams from around 15 schools in Arizona. Students build these mechanized machines from the ground up, documenting their design cycles in an engineering notebook. They go out and practice with each other too.

“A, it teaches engineering because you have a lot of kids that learn wiring, you have a lot of kids that learn all of the different engineering processes. But more importantly, it teaches them how to communicate,” said Wendi Harden, the event coordinator at the AIA Robotics State Championship.

Desert Ridge High School Junior Parker Scott is already on his way to the world championships in Dallas. He says he has learned so much through robotics and plans to pursue electrical engineering after he graduates.

“So this is definitely helping me learn the fundamentals of simple circuits if you put it that way. To then take those circuits and put them into a higher level in college,” said Scott.

Different awards at the tournament highlight different focuses that students can pursue. And while everyone wants to win something, the benefits of this tournament, and what you learn, are so much bigger.

“I think that more women definitely need to be put into STEM because the entire field is just dominated by males and that really needs to change because I think that different perspectives are very important to see any innovation happen in any sort of field,” said Lakkaraju.