FIRST Robotics Competition Championship 2008 Previous Gallery Next Gallery 1 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC Ally Whalen, a junior at Kell High School, waits on deck Thursday with other drivers during a practice session at the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship at the Georgia Dome. More than 300 teams from around the world are competing. 2 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC Trey Chambers of Kell transports his team's robot from the pit area in the GWCC to the competition floor in the Georgia Dome. 3 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC Grace Williams (right) and Meredith Kolff of Westminster High School chat with members of other teams during the competition. "There's a sense of community" among competitors, Williams said. 4 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC Drivers guide their robots in a practice run Thursday. The teams were challenged to build robots that could pick up a sphere slightly larger than a yoga ball from an overhanging rack and then carry or push it around a course 5 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC Meredith Kolff (left) and Grace Williams of Westminster scout out the other teams in the pit area. Westminster is an environmentally friendly team and is recycling batteries. 6 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC A robot from Plainedge High School in Massapequa, N.Y., gets rolled off the floor after a practice run. High-schoolers from across the United States, as well as Brazil, Canada, Israel and Mexico, attend the event. 7 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC Aaron Feldser, team adviser for Norcross High School, wraps up after a day of practice. "I enjoy interacting with the kids and watching their minds grow as they problem solve," he said. 8 / 8 Mikki K. Harris / AJC The Hall of Fame area at the GWCC for the FIRST Robotics Competition is lined with college recruiters and concessions. About 8,600 students take part in the tournament. Sign up for e-newsletters Want more news? Sign up for free e-newsletters to get more of AJC delivered to your inbox.