Local high school students have traveled to St. Louis, Missouri where they're competing against teens from around the world. But it's not the kids who are taking the field: it's their robots. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
All around the Edward Jones Dome, students worked feverishly Thursday to put the finishing touches on their creations.
"The team is one big family and this is our baby," said Stuyvesant High School Student Mao Hu.
That "baby" is a 120 pound robot and over the next few days it will compete against more than 300 other robots in the FIRST robotics championship in St. Louis. More than 8,000 high school students from five different countries are taking part and, believe it or not, they're all getting along, thanks to a practice called gracious professionalism.
"You can ask somebody for a part and there's no, 'Should we, or should we not?' They just help you out and stuff so it's really nice here," said J.C. Wilson Commencement Academy Student Alexis Pena.
All good sportsmanship aside, this is a competition and not just for the robots. The students themselves are competing for over $14 million in scholarships -- money that will help them attend some very impressive schools.
"I'm going to Rochester Institute of Technology for electrical engineering," said Staten Island Technical High School Student Marisa Ashour.
"And I'm going to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for electrical engineering," said Staten Island Technical High School Student Rebecca Kekelishvili.
The goal of FIRST is to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math. It also allows them to play with giant robots and compete before screaming fans in a 67,000 seat arena.
"Makes it even cooler than it already is," said Aaron Buckley of FIRST Robotics Team 3506.
NY1's parent company, Time Warner Cable, is a significant sponsor of the FIRST program and encourages students to pursue math and sciences through it's own Connect a Million Minds program.
For more information, visit www.connectamillionminds.com.