Kids face off in Lego robot competition

Posted at: 12/08/2012 11:27 PM
By: Dan Bazile

TROY - Some of the best young science and engineering students in the Capital Region faced off Saturday in one of the biggest Lego competitions. There, they put their custom design robots, built with Legos, to the test.

Matt Roos, an eighth grader at Shen, and his team are part of a large group of kids in the Capital Region who devote part of their education to building robots.

He explained the most difficult part of the competition; “It's the pressure. The pressure is on. You got to put the parts on. You got to run the programs. It’s tough.”

They put them to the test at the 5th annual Hudson Valley First Lego League Competition at RPI in Troy. One of the organizers, RPI engineering professor Paul Schoch, says this is not your typical science fair.

“They're doing engineering. They’re doing CAD. They’re doing machining. They’re doing the control systems, the programming.”

The teams come from different middle schools across the capital region. Their task in the tournament is to use technology to improve the lives of seniors.

Schock says they're hooked in middle school into high school where they can build more elaborate robotic systems. He says the program is design to encourage kids who probably never considered science and technology as a career. It’s an industry he says needs a lot more attention from young people.

Albany High School teacher Rich Kissane says, “It’s where the jobs are. It’s where the good jobs are, what the country needs.”

But they also need to put in the work. There’s a lot of commitment that goes into making these robots move on commands coming from a remote control.

One parent told us her kids meet four days a week for about an hour and a half after school.

But, they said today they are still proud of their kids’ accomplishments.