No lasers or Terminators, but robots will take over the floor of Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota Saturday, May 19. Several southeastern Minnesota and South Metro schools will be represented.

Caledonia, LaCrescent, Farmington, East Ridge of Woodbury and Eagan are among the 36 teams that have qualified. The Minnesota State High School League is the first to hold a state robotics competition.

Schools began assembling their robots in mid-January and traveled the Midwest to compete in events. Three teams form an alliance and work together to score points in a variety of ways. The game this year has teams owning their scale, playing power-up or climbing the scale tower.

East Ridge, Duluth East and Warroad worked together to capture the state title in 2017 and all three return this year. There is no charge to attend. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:15 am Saturday. Qualification rounds start at 8:30 am. The top teams will draft other schools to join them at 3:30 pm with the semifinals at 4 pm and the awards ceremony just after 5 pm.

This is a fun tournament to watch. You can get close to the action and watch teams work in the pit. Each team has students that have worked in programming, electrical, manufacturing and public relations. It's amazing to see what they have accomplished and realize how much this will help them down the road in their education and career fields.