OGDEN — About 200 kids will be showing off their robotics skills during a Utah FIRST LEGO League qualifying competition on Jan. 14 at Weber State University.

The competition, which goes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shepherd Union Building, is designed to introduce school-age children to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO Mindstorms robots to complete prescribed tasks.

The kids, ages 9 through 14, design, build, test and program the robots; apply math and science concepts; research challenges; learn critical-thinking, team-building and presentation skills; and compete at tournaments.      

The WSU event is one of nine qualifying tournaments in Utah, all in January, with winning teams advancing to the state championship Jan. 28 at the University of Utah.

Approximately 1,500 kids in 150 teams are expected to compete at the qualifiers this year, up from 60 teams last year.