The competition is split into three judged sections and a live robot run. Teams are judged on how well their teams work together and how well they explain their robot designs and programs.
Teams must also come up with a creative and unique solution to this year's challenge called Trash Trek. All teams must identify a problem with the way the world makes or handles trash, then design a solution to the problem and share it at the competition usually in some form of skit.
Finally, teams have their robots compete to successfully complete as many designed tasks relating to the trash challenge as possible in 2 1/2 minutes.
"The skit is fun. I like it most," said John Plummer in his first year of competition. "I can't wait to go and compete and see how we do."
Jack Cove is in his third year of competition for TK Schools. "I like building the robots. It's definitely challenging, though," he said.
Morgan Keller said she likes the competition in general and already knows she wants to be part of a team again next year. "It's a lot of different things you can do. You're not just limited to one certain thing and you make a lot of friends," she said.
The teams started meeting at least once per week in early September. Some met more often and just before the competition, Walters' team has met daily.
Coach Andy Cove said it can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding. "There is a lot they learn from this and one thing is not to give up," he said.
FIRST Lego Robotics focuses on the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Students engage in problem solving, engineering and building robots, and programming. "It's a great program for the students and they learn a lot," said Andy Cove.
Walters said she's excited and nervous for the competition this year. "We're really hoping they do well this year. We've come a long way since that first year and we've all learned a lot," she said.