A group of 5th graders from several northwest Missouri schools are making learning fun through Legos.
The five students from Avenue City, John Glenn and Savannah schools have jumped into their own 21st century LEGOLAND complete with their own robot they made and programmed themselves.
They are a part of Lego First, an international league combining robots and Legos into introducing kids to real life problems and having them use critical thinking skills to come up with solutions.
"We make a solution to the water cycle and you present the core values and you complete missions with your robot.," said team member Nori Steele, 10.
The theme of this year's Lego First challenge is hydroponics. Because of that, all of the Lego figures the team made and all of challenges they must complete with their robot involve water. The team even chose the name H2-Awesome.
"There's a real science component to that," said group co-sponsor Jeff Burnett, whose son Logan is on the team. "Also, with engineering and math with the robot they're able to really grab a hold of that and discover things for themselves and teach each other."
The team just formed two months ago and many of them didn't know each other. However, they've taken their similar passions for Legos and technology and turned themselves into a team. In their first tournament together, they finished in the top 10, earning a spot in a state competition in January.
:"It really focuses on core values around real world teamwork and problem-solving skills and bringing those problem-solving skills to a fun, interactive environment of Lego competition.," said co-sponsor Kenny Barrett, whose daughter Kaitlyn is a team member.
Burnett has let the team take over part of his living room, where they have built their Lego world. He says it's well worth it.
"I'm a proud dad. I'd be glad to be called a robot dad or Lego dad," he said.
Administrators with the St. Joseph School District say similar Lego teams are forming at city schools.