"Their parents and coaches are active with this too," says Jane Hudson, and event organizer. "They all have teams and have been working for the past few months on building a LEGO robot. An autonomous robot that goes out and completes missions."
This LEGO tournament is a sporting event in it's own right - with referees, and even a play by play announcer. But it's much more than a sport. The kids who participate are tackling real-world engineering challenges, and designing solutions. They have to rely on critical thinking and teamwork. As well as their knowledge of math and science.
"They strategize, and they work with their coaches, and they actually do real research," Hudson says. "The kids have been talking about going to big companies like John Deere and getting their feedback on how they can better improve their robot."
Winners move on to sectionals, then to a state competition. There is even a "First Lego League" world competition.