Santiago Salazar and Ethan Goates demonstrate their arena robot
Santiago Salazar and Ethan Goates demonstrate their arena robot (Cherry Rushin, Editor)
At Jacksboro Middle School, nearly 40 students take a box of hundreds of Lego pieces with a few motors and a “brain” that the students program and turn them into functional robots of their own design.

The Jacksboro ISD robotics program has grown by leaps and bounds. It was has now been at the middle school for five years.

Lishia Whitworth leads the middle school program and has since its inception. The first year, the program had only a handful of students and even fewer Lego Mindstorm kits.

The program grew from a club format, into a classroom room format. Now in its second year as a full-fledged class, Whitworth teaches three classes of seventh and eighth graders in robotics a day.
But many of the students can’t get enough of the robots during Whitworth’s class time.

The JMS robotics students recently enjoyed great success at the Texas Computer Educators Association area competition with five teams advancing to state.

At JMS, students can compete at either a middle school, intermediate level or a high school, advanced level.

The program is a full-on STEM class combining science, technology, engineering and math skills to produce the robots and their programming. Students put in large amounts of work to complete their projects and they do it willingly.

The team created a search and rescue robot that is a variation on project that competed at state last year.


The state competition will take place April 12 in Deer Park near Houston.

Read the full article in the Jack County Herald, Feb. 21