ABERDEEN, S.D. Three teams will represent Roncalli Elementary and High School this weekend in the FIRST Lego League competition. It's part of keeping their STREAM initiative going, but there's a lot of work that goes into it.
The Hydro Heroes, Lego Legends and #J's are ready to take on the competition at the state championship this weekend but have quite a bit of preparation to do.
"We have to work on it, we have to research a lot of stuff and you have to learn how to program so you can actually get something done in the missions," Hydro Heroes Member Matayah Henrich said.
For some, it's their first time participating in the FIRST Lego League.
"It's really fun doing all the programming and all the artistic stuff like drawing and thinking of things," Henrich said.
For other students at Roncalli, it's their second year with the club.
"I like it because I get to learn how to work with a team better and I like working with Legos and programming," Lego Legends Member Anna Mitzel said.
Each team at Roncalli has their own coach to provide guidance if they get stuck building their robots or solving a problem.
"I'm merely there as a motivator, but everything that you see today, everything that they do is entirely from their own imaginations," Hydro Heroes Coach Amy Griffin said.
The competition is an all-day event with three different rounds.
"We have 2.5 minutes to run the various missions that the robot has been programmed to do," Griffin said.
Roncalli students have high hopes for their teams this weekend at state.
"I expect my team to do very well and hopefully we'll get some points," Mitzel said.
"I think it's gonna go good hopefully and I also think once we get everything back into our heads, we'll do good," Henrich said.
At the state qualifying competition back in December, the Hydro Heroes took home the Core Values Trophy. This is given to the team that the judges felt best exemplified teamwork and getting along with each other as well as with other teams at the competition.
The FIRST Lego League State Championship will take place in Sioux Falls this Saturday at Augustana University. The winner of that will move on and compete in Detroit.