St. Vrain Valley robotics teams dominate rankings, prepare to compete Saturday

Erie resident Michelle Lonsinger's basement buzzed with activity Wednesday afternoon as a bevy of elementary school students practiced maneuvering their robots around a field and manipulating plastic rings.
 
On Saturday, more than 250 elementary and middle school students will show up at Erie Middle School for two VEX robotics tournaments.
 
Lonsinger's daughter is involved with the Tiger Hawks VEX IQ team, a combination of kids from Erie Elementary — its mascot is a tiger — and Red Hawk Elementary.
 
The Tiger Hawks are a force to be reckoned with — they are ranked No. 3 in the world out of 2,143 teams and first in the United States on the middle school level. Another local team, the Row-Bots, are ranked first in the state among elementary schools.