Matthew Rainey, a senior, Lucas Travilla, a sophomore and Ted Bernhard, the team mentor.

Submitted photo

Valley Christian High School’s robotics team has earned an invitation to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis April 25-28. During this four-day event, Valley X Robotics will compete against teams from all around the world for a chance to represent Arizona in the technology challenge. This trip represents the team’s third invitation to the world championship in its four-year history.

This year, there were approximately 2,000 FTC teams competing from North America and around the world, and only 128 teams will achieve an invitation to the World Championship.

Valley X Robotics students Matthew Rainey, a senior, Lucas Travilla, a sophomore, and Russell Amberson, a freshman, have all worked hard for this honor. The team is currently trying to raise $5,000 for the trip, mainly through tax-credit and corporate donations.

The FIRST website,, has hundreds of pages of directions and tips for aspiring creators of these robots. Prospective teams receive a new challenge each fall and have approximately three to four months to work on the design and building of the robot using specified materials to fit specific parameters.

Teams work with mentors who have experience and expertise in the engineering arena. Valley X team mentors are Ted Bernhard and faculty advisor Jaye Jackson.

Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or

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