Charlottesville High School Students in Robotics Competition

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January 9, 2013

A group of Charlottesville High School students are trying save the earth from the path of a comet by programming robots -- as part of a fictional competition.

CHS' science club B.A.C.O.N., or Best All-Around Club of Nerds, will head to Boston next week for the finals of a computer coding competition called Zero Robotics.

The team held its final meeting Thursday before leaving.

Students program actual robotic satellites on the international space station. students watch live as astronauts on board the space station judge their work.

"Not only have I gotten my coding skills better, but I've learned a lot of problem solving skills and how to approach problems in a different way," said Eliza Cohn, a member of B.A.C.O.N.'S Zero Robotics. Team. "It just feels amazing. We get a plaque just for going. It feels nice to have lived up to what everyone did last year."

The team came in second at last year's competition. It is ranked second in the nation this year.

This year's challenge is inspired by the threat of comets headed for earth and posing danger to humanity. Students programmed their satellites to alter a fictional comet's earthbound path.

They leave next Thursday for MIT, where the American competition takes place.

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