FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The robotics program at Randall Pepper Elementary School in Fontana is gearing up for the trip of a lifetime after qualifying for the World Robot Olympiad Friendship Invitational Tournament in Denmark.
Third graders Keilani Aquino and Anthony Diaz-Flores built and coded their own robots made out of Legos, and then honed their skills in a timed competition to complete tasks on a map about the size of a pool table.
During a recent practice, the two teammates simulated an actual competition. Keilani places the robot on the table and issues verbal commands to Anthony, who then controls the robot by using an tablet.
The goal is to maneuver the robot and move items around the table, completing a set of tasks in as best time as possible.
"It's just like a sporting event," said Derrick Kreimann, the CEO for U.S. Engineering League Youth Robotics. "You have parents cheering, yelling from the crowd, and giving instructions.
"The kids sometimes have nerves and that's why they have to go through a gauntlet of experience."
Over 25,000 teams will be taking part in the competition, which runs from Sept. 21 through 24 in Odense, Denmark.
"They really take it on their own and they really learn a lot of great things," said Theresa Gomez, principal at Randall Pepper Elementary School. "They get to learn about coding and robotics itself, but not only that but what they can do in the future and grow with it.
"So it's really an exciting program that we've been offering."