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Nebraska is a leader in competitive robotics, and the 2018-19 season is closing in on the kick-off at Cross County High School Saturday, Nov. 17.

The upcoming tournament, sponsored by Nebraska Public Power District, will open its doors at 7:30 a.m., with competition taking place throughout the day  leading up to the finals matches at roughly 3:15 p.m. Cross County High School is at 1270 123 Road, just south of Stromsburg.

“Nebraska ranks fourth in the United States for competitive robotics teams per capita, with 466 teams competing during the 2017-18 season. We expect that number to exceed 500 this season,” NPPD Senior Education Specialist Chad Johnson said, in a release. “Competitive robotics introduces students to technical workforce skills, problem solving, teamwork, and innovation.”

NPPD sponsors the Open division tournaments because of the focus on innovation and opportunities in electrical engineering.

During the competition, teams will be randomly paired with teams from other communities, to complete tasks and earn points.

“These students build some amazing robots, and in addition to learning technical skills, the students learn about leadership, communication, and sportsmanship, all of which are demonstrated by NPPD employees on a day-to-day basis,” NPPD Careers Outreach Specialist Kim Liebig said.

Twenty-two teams from Columbus, Aurora Hampton, Norfolk, Omaha, York and St. Paul will be competing in the opening tournament. Following the competition at Cross County, the next tournament will be held at Lakeview High School in Columbus on Dec. 15.

High school teams will participate in multiple CREATE Open Tournaments powered by NPPD and the CREATE foundation in Omaha, throughout the year. Seven tournaments have already been scheduled, leading up to the US Open Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa this April.

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