Petal High School robotics team preps for competition

Petal High School robotics team preps for competition

Petal High School has something to offer for students interested in engineering.

The First Robotics Team, also know as Team Hero, was established in 2006 and has grown from 12 members to 27. The students work after school and on Saturdays with local engineers to build a robot.

"We have a lot of students who are interested in engineering," said Tracy Sustaita, team sponsor. "They get to actually work with engineers hands-on to do this and they learn a lot."

The team is gearing up for the Bayou Regional Competition in March. U.S. First Robotics holds a kickoff event on the first Saturday in January to announce the competition's theme. The teams from across the country have six weeks to complete their robots.

This year's theme is "Recycle Rush." The robots must be designed to pick up foam "litter" from the arena and deposit it in garbage cans. The cans are then stacked on top of boxes and the team with the highest stack wins.

"It's really cool to see the robots in action," said Brittany Madden. "It's like, 'Hey, we helped do that as a team! We all did that.'"

The team is sponsored by the Petal School District, Kohler Industries, BAE Systems, Mississippi Engineering Society, and Mississippi Power.

Those interested in sponsoring the team can contact Tracy Sustaita at