Lakehill Preparatory students compete in a robotics competition. (Courtesy of Gigi Ekstrom.)

The Lakehill Preparatory School robotics squad earned a spot in the FIRST World Championships engineering competition after competing against 52 teams Saturday at a regional tournament.

Teams representing Plano, Fort Worth, Dallas and others were split into two divisions at the North Texas FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Championship.The Lakehill Bionicles were part of the winning alliance in all six divisional qualifying rounds to advance to the semifinals.

In the next round, the Bionicles formed an underdog team with competitors from Elmer & Elsie Robotics, a home-school team from Frisco, and PESH Bots from Plano East to knock off the No. 4 and No. 1 seeds.

Lakehill’s alliance then faced the other divisional winner in the finals. The Bionicles won the first round but had technical difficulties with their partner, Elmer & Elsie, when both robots disconnected from their control systems. Tied at 1, Elmer & Elsie and PESH Bots brought home the victory for the Bionicles in the third match.

All three teams in the winning alliance will travel to Houston on April 17-20 for the FIRST World Championships.