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'This has influenced me a lot' | Riverdale High School student finds passion for robotics and coding in new class

Tyler Lockaby is a junior at Riverdale High School who said that he found a passion for robotics after the school upgraded robotics from activity to class.

PORT BYRON, Ill. — For the first time, Riverdale High School is teaching robotics as a course after previously offering it as a school activity for nine years. Tyler Lockaby, a junior, said that being in that classroom has helped him discover his passion for robotics and coding. 

"I've been on this team for my third year. My Brother was in it before, so I got some experience watching him and that's really what got me into it," Lockaby said. "This has influenced me a lot. I really enjoy coming in here every day."

The robots created in the classroom are used in the 'First Tech Challenge', a competition that students enter every year. The competitions consist of students teaming up with one another to complete tasks with their robots. 

Jason Dennhardt, Riverdale High School's robotics teacher, described Lockaby as a leader to their team. 

“He just took a liking to it (robotics) and really became the leader of the team," Dennhardt said. "I think that has pushed the other kids in the group. This year, our seniors are pushing Tyler like he pushes them." 

Lockaby said he isn't sure if robotics will be in his future. However, he said that he will take every day as an opportunity to keep learning life lessons through working with robots. 

“It's really just about the process of learning and applying that. One thing might not work one day, but you just keep your head at it, fix it and just keep going." 

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