Hundreds Competing in ‘Varsity Sport for Your Mind’

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CLEVELAND--Hundreds of young, aspiring engineers from all over the country are in Cleveland for an annual robotics competition.

"It's just like playing a varsity sport except it's with your mind and it's exciting," said  Lewis Nerone from Team "Cardinalbots."

A field of 54 teams are showing off their skills and their unique robots at the 13th annual Buckeye Regional First Robotics competition at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland.

Robots as heavy as 120 lbs. will be competing in a 25 by 54 ft. arena.

This year, teams compete in a game called "Aerial Assist."

"You have the robots competing with each other trying to get their balls into a box at the end of each field or either over a trestle in the middle of the field that goes into a rim over the top,” said Stephanie Brown Houston from “First” robotics.

Around 1500 high school students from more than 50 schools across America participated in the robot competition. Students said they enjoy the robot contest because they are having fun and learning too.

"I found this team in my local neighborhood and I thought this is a great way for me to learn more about science and computer science and get some hands on experience,”  said Lynn Urbina from team “Girls of Steel."

"It's fun. Everyone here is like a community. We work well; we help each other. Somebody forgot a part, we go around give other people what they need,” said Aaron Mandrake from team “Street Legal."

Besides the robots, one of the most interesting aspects of this competition is that teams are dressing up like their mascots, so you are going to see some pretty interesting costumes.

"We are from team 217. We're the "Thunder Chickens," so we dressed up as chickens; that's our team mascot,” said Aaron Willcock.

The big winners will be announced on Saturday and they will advance to the championship competition next month in St. Louis.

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