Connolly Elementary School fifth-graders Paolo Cacio and Gregory Villafane and their teammates won in the research category of the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) challenge Sunday at Fordham University in the Bronx.
The team, RoboRocket, won the Best Research prize in the international competition's qualifying tournament. The rest of the team is made up of students from Nassau County's South Shore and Queens. They are expected to compete in the NYC FLL Championship at the Jacob Javits Center on March 9.
The competition is a yearly challenge designed for elementary and middle school students. Teams design LEGO robots to complete a set of tasks.
Students start the process when the year's theme is announced in September. They then build out a mobile unit from a basic computerized LEGO robot, program movements for it in a separate program and download those into the robot.
The robot must then complete a set of motions to accomplish a final task, such as moving into position to release a ball and knock over pins.
A total of 19 teams competed in the tournament.