Legos become inspiration for local students

Legos have been around since the 1930s and are usually used as entertainment for the kids but they can also be used to inspire, as they've been doing with some local students.

Close to 200 students met Friday to compete in the FIRST Lego League qualifying event at Coastal Carolina University.

The FIRST Lego League is a worldwide competition that seeks to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.

All 26 teams were students from local elementary and middle schools. The teams are made up of children who volunteer.

In the past, those interested in competing have traveled to Columbia or Charleston for regionals. The director of the event and professor at CCU, Louis Rubbo, says that with the explosion of teams this year, they had to find a way to host a regional qualifier.

The competition was based on three main parts: A research activity, a teamwork activity, and a Lego robot design. The research activity this year involved coming up with an original idea for helping senior citizens.

The robot competition consisted of 14 missions that the robot tried to complete as many as possible in two and a half minutes. The robots had to be made completely of Legos.

The winners will move on to the state level this spring.

While playing with the Legos is a highlight for the children, most said that being on the team was the most fun.