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Friday - April 6, 2018 1:43 am

Robots take over La Crosse Center this weekend

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The robots were on the field Thursday for practice.

At 8:30 a.m. today, the competition begins for the Seven Rivers FIRST Robotics regional at the La Crosse Center.

There will be 53 teams from five states partaking, where students had six weeks to build a robot that can complete different challenges on the course.

Regional coordinator Steve Beason says it's a sight to behold.

“The game this year is called First Power Up,” he explained. “It's kind of an 80s, early 90s 8-bit video game inspired game.

“You have six robots on the field at a given time with two alliances and they have a variety of tasks that they're trying to complete.”

Beason says the students have all sorts of backgrounds.

“You might have a builder, you might have a programer,” Beason said. “There also might be a social media person. All these different segments where people can find their way.”

And Beason says, if La Crosse is lucky, these very bright students might find their way back here someday.

“We have people from all over that might be their first-ever trip to La Crosse,” Beason said. “These could be future program engineers, programmers.

“If they have a great impression of La Crosse, they might come back here for college. They might come back here for career opportunities.”

The event begins at 9 a.m. Friday with the last qualifying matches at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, it begins at 8:45 a.m. with the last matches from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Drew Kelly

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