PHOTOS: Bay Area Students Turn Legos into Robots

This robot was built by fourth, fifth and sixth graders from Fremont at the FIRST LEGO League competition in San Jose. Their team name was the Ogelions.

This robot was built by fourth, fifth and sixth graders from Fremont at the FIRST LEGO League competition in San Jose. Their team name was the Ogelions. (Polly Stryker/KQED)

What happens when you combine the nostalgia of childhood with the technology of the future?

Lego robots happen.

This weekend, more than 600 student teams across Northern California (and their robots) participated in qualifying tournaments for the FIRST LEGO League competition. The robots were built by the students with Lego pieces and other materials and had to do specific tasks on a pre-set ping-pong sized table — pushing buttons, grabbing Lego items, pulling levers — all within a set amount of time.

The science and engineering competition’s theme this year was hydro dynamics, and the students were responsible for programming their robots to meet the challenges around water. Only around 30 percent of the kids who compete this weekend will move on to the next round.

The photos below are from one qualifying event at the Play Space in San Jose.

Roan Kher and Dhruv Nemani are part of the Robomaniacs team. The sixth graders were just some of many Bay Area students competing in the STEM competition.
Roan Kher and Dhruv Nemani are part of the Robomaniacs team. The sixth graders were just some of many Bay Area students competing in the STEM competition. (Polly Stryker/KQED)
Sixth graders on the Robomaniacs team made this robot. The team members are from Cupertino.
Sixth graders on the Robomaniacs team made this robot. The team members are from Cupertino. (Polly Stryker/KQED)
Students at the FIRST LEGO League qualifying event had to create robots that would pass three challenges related to hydro dynamics. (Polly Stryker/KQED)
The Alta Vista Aviators take the field.
The Alta Vista Aviators take the field. (Polly Stryker/KQED)
The Robowarrior team was made up of fourth and fifth graders from San Jose and Cupertino.
The Robowarrior team was made up of fourth and fifth graders from San Jose and Cupertino. (Polly Stryker/KQED)
PHOTOS: Bay Area Students Turn Legos into Robots 11 November,2017Polly Stryker

Author

Polly Stryker

Polly Stryker is an Assignment Editor for KQED’s statewide news service, The California Report. She and reporter/host Rachael Myrow produce the KQED podcast, Love in the Digital Age.

Polly has worked for a variety of news and public affairs programs, including  The California Report’s “Health Dialogues” and Forum on KQED. Before that, she was a producer on AirTalk with Larry Mantle on KPCC radio, and These Days on KPBS. Polly’s work has won  awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Northern California, the Society of Professional Journalists (Southern California and Northern California chapters), the Radio and Television News Association. She’s also won a Taste Award.

She considers herself to be a citizen of the world, having grown up in Cairo before coming to the United States. Polly speaks Arabic and can say, “I’d like a martini, please” in Swahili.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor