CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- A local science club has placed fourth worldwide in the semifinals for the Zero Robotics High School Tournament.
After three rounds of international competition, the Charlottesville High School club, Best All-around Club of Nerds or BACON, has qualified for the finals for the fourth time in a row.
The Zero Robotics competition is sponsored by NASA, MIT the European Space Agency and other world science organizations, making it one of the premier computer-programming competitions.
It requires teams to write computer code to control a virtual robot in 3-D space.
This year, the robot needed to collect strategic resources, take photos of a competitor satellite, avoid being photographed and manage limited energy stores that could be replenished by the sun when possible.
Each round of the competition included additional challenges and limitations the students had to work around in order to pass.
BACON qualified for the semifinals by placing second in the world after two rounds.
During the semifinals and finals, the remaining teams formed three-part national and international alliances, with BACON working with teams from California and Greece.
The alliance finished the semifinals in fourth place.
Next month, the CHS teams will head to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to see their code control a robot live on the International Space Station for the competition finals.
This year's team includes Eliot Baker, Talis Basham, Margaret Fitch, Owen Guiffre, Saoirse Lee, Stephen Newman, Max Patek, Noah Robinson, Asher Saunders, Nathan Shuster, Jack Timmins, Ella Wayland, and Jonah Weissman.