The 6th Annual Inland Northwest Robotics Expo, hosted by West Valley High School, featured 170 elementary and middle school competitors on 31 different teams, with demonstrations by high school teams.
At each competition, teams, students from around the region navigated robots through obstacle courses, both remotely and autonomously.
"It's about connecting kids with things they are interested about," says Brad Liberg, the career and technical education director for West Valley School District. "The main goal is to further STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] education at all our school districts."
According to a 2011 Department of Commerce report, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2019. Non-STEM jobs are projected to grow by 9.8 percent.
West Valley High School robotics mentor and engineering teacher Eric Groshoff says, "It supplements academics with the relevant."
The competition area is photographed during the Inland Northwest Robotics Exposition.
Liberty Lake Elementary School 3rd graders Ansel Lapier, left, and Spencer Bringhurst assemble their robot, during the 1st Lego League competition.
Freeman Elementary School 5th grader William Russell checks his robot before 1st Lego League competition.
Wilson Elementary School 4th grader Thomas Schermerhor, center, prepares his robot for an obstacle course as teammates Brendan O'Rourk, left, and Mishelle Koston look on, during the 1st Lego League competition.
2nd Second-grader William Holland demonstrates his windmill robot as part of the Jr. 1st Lego League competition.
Horizon Middle School 8th grader Michael Sampson prepares to test his robot before MINDS-i competition.
Mountainside Middle School 7th grader Erica Brooks, second from right, receives help from 16-year-old Mt. Spokane High School sophomore Ashley Unruh, second from the left, on a robot before MINDS-i competition. Looking on are teacher David Neale, left, and 7th grader Ali Jones.
North Pines Middle School 7th grader Brenden Kaiser attempts to navigate his robot on an obstacle course during the MINDS-i competition.
Shaw Middle School 8th graders Habeeb Sabir, left, and Jonathan Murray prepare their robot for MINDS-i competition.
Centennial Middle School 7th grader Kiarah Johansen drives her robot through an obstacle course during the MINDS-i competition.
Garry Middle School 7th grader Brandon Carvey, left, and 8th grader Cameron Bowerman place their robot and dropped action figure on a previous part of an obstacle course during the MINDS-i competition.
West Valley High School's team "Chuck" fire frisbees from their robot during a 1st Robotics demonstration.
Mead School District Director of Career and Technical Education judges tri-folds, submitted by each team to describe how their classroom learning has applied to robotics.
Photos by Young Kwak. A version of this story ran as a Photographer's Eye in the May 16 issue.
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