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Local robotics team competing internationally

Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The team of middle and elementary school students formerly known as the Vienna Viking Voyagers has been invited to compete in the First Lego League Virtual Open Invitational.

The team was invited after a previous win at the state level that you can read about here.

Coach K.C. Doepker said she couldn’t be prouder, especially after a difficult stretch of virtual meetings.

“This season has been like none other and they’ve really done a great job and had great attitudes throughout it,” said Doepker.

The invitational will also be virtual, though the actual robot runs have been recorded ahead of time.

“There’s a ton of challenges,” said Doepker. “One being technology, having to purchase all of the technology, to be able to have the tripods, the cameras and having the kids engaged. That’s been the toughest.”

But, the Tender Defenders have powered through. The team has already submitted its robot runs and recorded presentations. A panel of judges will meet with the team the week of the actual invitational, which is June 12-19.

The kids are confident in their abilities.

“I think we’ll probably do good,” said Parker Woods, a fifth grader and Tender Defender.

“We’ve done a lot of hard work and seeing the scores at our first competition that we went to, we look pretty good,” said Hayden Carey, a sixth grader and Tender Defender.

Though the team won’t get to interact with any of the other teams in-person, they will still be able to meet with teams virtually from all over the world. There will be teams from Japan, Greece, Romania, Australia, and many other countries.

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