Teenaged gearheads clash Saturday

SUWANEE -- Young engineers are gearing up for a big robotics competition Saturday at Peachtree Ridge High School's commons area.

Five local high schools' robotics teams have signed on to compete in the annual event, which pits teams of two radio-controlled VEX contraptions in tournaments against one another.

VEX robots are made from wheels, sensors and electric motors.

Peachtree Ridge Robotics volunteer Valerie Strain said students who participate in the event are given "X amount of time to build the robots ... which are similar to Erector Sets."

Strain said it's a "good experience" for participating schools.

"It's a great thing for these kids," said Strain, a longtime volunteer. "It's pretty exciting stuff, and I think the kids get a lot of good lessons out of participating."

The event will feature robotics teams from Brookwood, Collins Hill, Duluth, Shiloh and Peachtree Ridge high schools.

Strain said about 500 people will likely attend the event, and spectators are welcome.

The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Peachtree Ridge is located at 1555 Old Peachtree Road.

Teams that win Saturday's event will go on to a regional competition March 16-17 at the Gwinnett Convention Center.

For more information, visit www.vexrobotics.com.