THUMBS UP: The Roar of the Robots, held Feb. 2 in the gym of Elmer A. Wolfe Elementary School, brought together one of the largest student robotics competitions in Carroll County, a qualifying tournament for the statewide For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology LEGO League. This year, the young tech mavens considered the problems of long-term space exploration with the theme “Into Orbit.” Thirteen local teams came for the afternoon’s main competition event, 11 of them from Carroll County. More than 100 students in grades 4 through 8 have been working on the creation of their robots since September. The competition is hosted and planned by local nonprofit group Partnership and Inspiration for Engineering Education and Entrepreneurship, an arm of the Robo-Lions based in Finksburg, a FIRST robotics competition team. The program’s mission is STEM education and cooperation, and making sure the opportunity to learn those skills is open to everyone no matter their socioeconomic or cultural background, said Rose Young, lead mentor at FIRST Robotics Competition Team 2199 Robo-Lions and director at PIE3. Kaitlyn Davey, who helped mentor the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster’s Space Nuggets team, is a former Robo-Lions participant who came back to the program, now as a college student. She was part of the winning team at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis in 2016. Members of the Carroll County Board of Education Marsha Herbert, Patricia Dorsey and Superintendent Steve Lockard, along with Carroll County Commissioner Dennis Frazier R-District 3, attended parts of the tournament, which also included a forum for kindergartners through third-graders to learn and showcase their abilities. For more information about joining the organization, becoming a volunteer or donating, go to www.robo-lions.org.