Robots to do Battle at MetroCenter; Youths From Maricopa Skill Center Showcasing Summer Project

The rip of metal skin, the smell of electric motors overheating, the excited faces of young nerds in button-down, short-sleeve shirts...

If you love a good robot fight like we do, tread on down to Metrocenter this Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. It may not be as exciting as a scuffle between Optimus and Megatron, but there ought to be some entertaining take-downs.

Budding builders from 16 to 25 who spent part of their summer learning manufacturing at the Maricopa Skill Center will display their handiwork in a "Robotics Showdown" in the mall's Dillard's Court.

It's not all fun and games: Winners will receive college scholarships, and everyone who participated in the six-week advanced technology course will get college credits, a paycheck for 200 hours of work and an internship at a local manufacturing business. (This according to a news release from the city of Phoenix).

Sponsors for the course and event included:

... the Phoenix Community Development and Investment Corporation, Arizona Tooling and Machining Association, Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department, Phoenix Workforce Connection and 13 advanced manufacturing businesses.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon will be on hand at 1:45 p.m. during the course's graduation ceremony.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.