BRADENTON -- Students from McNeal Elementary School will advance to the next stage of the FIRST LEGO League competition, after competing in a regional competition in Clearwater.
A team from Braden River Elementary took home a rookie award. It's the first time Manatee County schools have participated in the regional level of the competition.
The FLL is a mentor-based program which inspires innovation and allows elementary and middle school students to build science, engineering and technology skills, while learning self-confidence and leadership.
This year's FLL topic is "Trash Trek." The challenge asks teams to explore trash, from collection to reuse, inventing a solution to help solve the problem. Students also create a robot based on their trash-themed mission, using FIRST LEGO League core values. The teams visited Manatee County's landfill in December, where they learned what items are recycled locally and what happens to the rest.
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The Suncoast FLL Championship will be held Feb. 13 at the Hillsborough Community College campus in Plant City. The McNeal Wildcats will be among 36 teams competing. Their research project involves solving a real world need: recycling. Teams researched a current recycling problem, and implemented a solution into the community.