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Published January 14, 2012, 04:06 PM

Lego Competitors Exchange Blocks & Towers For Robots

LAKOTA, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The first ever Regional LEGO tournament was held in Lakota Saturday morning. It's not the typical kind of LEGO building some would expect.

LAKOTA, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The first ever Regional LEGO tournament was held in Lakota Saturday morning. It's not the typical kind of LEGO building some would expect.

"DUN DUN DUN...LEGO!"

Forget Lego blocks and towers, this tournament gives an entire different meaning to the word "lego".

"It's like really intense and you have to try really hard to get good scores," said first year competitor, Rachel Gotter.

For some kids, it's about working together as a team.

"My favorite part about it is that we get to have bonding time with our classes," said Gotter.

But for others, it's frustrating.

"Yeah, when you press the button and you're like I don't know if its going to do this," said first year competitors, Gavin and Quincy.

Kids ages 9 to 14 program a robot which travels across the table performing different missions. Second year competitor, Erika McPherson is all about winning.

"My team got 76 when I first went out there and then we got 121 points and we didn't even mean to get one of the missions that we programmed to do but we just got it done," said McPherson.

Erika competed the year before in Dakota Prairie. I had the pro show me the ropes...and it's a lot more complicated than just pressing a button. Lets just say Erika wasn't impressed.

"The hardest part is to keep your robot in tact," said Gotter.

Most kids don't even realize they're actually learning while programming the robot. The STEM aspect--science, technology, engineering, and math is a strong skill among these kids.

"Anyone can do it but it's kind of a nice alternate to sports for kids who aren't involved in sports and might like something else to do," said Executive Director for NESC, Jennifer Carlson.

The state competition is January 28th at UND.

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