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A robotics team that consists of 4-H kids from Waukesha County had a strong showing at a recent state event.

The FIRST LEGO League robotics team, T.E.A.M. Recycle-Label, finished second at the Wisconsin FIRST LEGO League state championship on Sunday, Feb. 21, in Madison.

Coach Wendy Copeland, who is also a coach on the Waukesha School District's robotics squad CORE 2062, noted the 4-H team completed three in-depth interviews with judges in the morning and competed in three robot rounds in the afternoon, placing eighth in the robot performance round.

The team was also nominated for a project presentation and a programming award. The team is made up of four students in grades 7-9, two of whom are from Waukesha, one from Mukwonago and one from East Troy.

The team presented their project and robot in the community at events such as the Waukesha County Fair last summer and the Waukesha JanBoree in January.

It has already been a banner year for the squad known as T.E.A.M. Recycle-Label, which won the Innovative Solution award at the Marquette Regional in November and the Research award at the Mukwonago Sectional in December.

FIRST LEGO League is a program for children ages 9-14 where they research a real-world problem such as trash and recycling, food safety, and energy, and develop a solution. They also design, build and program a robot, which competes on a table-top playing field.

This season's theme was Trash Trek. The team had to find a problem with trash and recycling, and create an innovative solution.

Copeland said the team conducted a two-part survey that included a 19-second educational video.

"They tackled the problem that recycling isn't a 'habit' for adults because that habit wasn't formed as young children," Copeland said.

The team will next compete in the Razorback Invitational from May 19-22 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Copeland added the team also holds a provisional patent for last year's project solution of a Type 1 Diabetes educational app-based game. They are currently working toward a full patent and consulting with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for accurate medical information.

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