Local students put coding skills to the test

IBM, Rochester Public Schools, and RCTC hosted the 12th annual IBM Legoo Education Outreach competition on Wednesday.

Posted: Dec 6, 2017 11:11 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2017 6:34 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - 153 teams of students from more than 25 area schools built robots and had them go head-to-head. 

With the help of IBM volunteers, the students have been working on their robots since September. 

"It taught me a lot about coding and stuff. And the basics of putting a program together and that it's a lot harder than people think it is," Isaac, an 8th-grade participant, said. 

Aaron Albertson is the outreach coordinator for IBM. He said this program is a fun way to show kids coding is fun. 

"Kids are familiar with LEGOs and it's a very approachable way to at least get started in programming," he said. 

Students we talked to said they had fun building robots. Some even said they would make robots outside of this program, but with a different function. 

"To make it do things for myself, like clean my room," Ellie, a 6th grade participant, said. 

Albertson said they've had an overwhelmingly positive response to this STEM-based program. 

"We only do it for the first half of the school year...often times we get requests to do it more often," he said. 

As for the winners of today's robot compeition?

"Bragging rights and a plaque ... no money's on the line," Albertson said. 

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