Regional FIRST Lego League Championship

The pressure was on for the Red Tail Flyers.

They put their robot to the test, among 47 other teams competing in the regional FIRST Lego League Championship. 

These junior engineers said they're ready for whatever comes their way, after several months of preparation. 

"Every practice we have to go up and speak in front of all the parents and I've learned to do public speaking better," said Harrison Ulmer, a contestant.

Around 500 middle schoolers present their projects at the Penn State Behrend.

The mission changes every year, based on what's happening in the world. 

"This year is hydrodynamics. So it's all about using water, how to get rid of waste water, how to recycle water," said Melanie Ford, the Director of Youth Education Outreach at Penn State Behrend.

Students research, design and create machines to represent that theme. 

"Our robot is like a dumpster. It will pick up trash or anything and dump it wherever it needs to be," said Malachi Milsap, contestant. 

This competition teaches students about more than just robots. Organizers said these skills will pay off for years to come.

"The world is changing and we're leaning more to a lot of technological things, a lot of science-based issues that we'll have to deal with," said Craig Ulmer, the Red Tail Flyers Coach. 

The hope is that students can apply the lessons they learn in the championship to real-life problem solving, molding imperative qualities like good communication and leadership.    

Many competitors coming out with new career goals of their own. 

"I wanted to be a michanical engineer when I grow up," said Harrison Ulmer.

With his teammates by his side, he's one step closer to that dream. 


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