20 teams from around the east battle it out in LEGO tournament

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Kids around the east gathered at J.H. Rose High School today, taking LEGO’s to a whole new level.

20 teams gathered to compete head to head with their programmable LEGO robots.

What do LEGO and water have in common? A challenge!

“The challenge is called hydrodynamics,” said Pitt County robotics coaching mentor, Bill McClung. “They’re solving real problems about water use and water recycling. And what we do with water; it’s for real.”

Real problems that 4th through 9th grade students are solving with LEGO’s through coding.

“We’ll take our programming skills and lining it up on the board,” said Havelock competitor, Tajanaye Mackins. “And we will be doing flush, filter, and fountain.”

Teams from Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina to Greenville came together and programed a robot to complete tasks, which must be done in two and a half minutes.

“It’s about getting these young folks excited about science and technology,” said McClung.

“You have to practice,” said Mackins. “Your coach has to help you. And you have to know what you’re doing with the robot and program the robot.”

Then each team is ranked based on not only their performance, but also their “core values”.

“Core values is work as a team,” said McClung. “Treat other people with respect, and all the things you want to hear these kids talk about.”

And from there, the top six teams will go to states in Greensboro.

The goal for a lot of these young LEGO builders is that they’ll make it to their high school team.

“We want them to grow up and want to be inspired the FRC team here in Pitt County,” said high school volunteer, Anna Below. “We build the metal robots, we build the big robots that drive around and we have to wire them and program them and we take LEGO’s to a whole new level.”

For now, they are focused on winning and having fun.

“You got everyone cheering for you and it feels good,” said Mary Elizabeth, from team “Bots & Bows”.

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