CRESTVIEW — Jeremiah Sexton, Michael Stender and Colby Sanders aren't yet teenagers, but they already have career goals.
Jeremiah is interested in becoming a robotic engineer; Michael, a scientific engineer; and Colby said he is considering a similar career path as his father, an aircraft engineer.
But for now, the boys — who form Davidson Middle School's Thunderbotz First Lego League team — are preparing for a robotics county championship.
And enjoying an unexpected second-place robot design prize from last week's Northwest Florida First Lego League regional tournament in Panama City. The team won a $400 Lego robot set for the school.
Michael, and Jeremiah, 12, and Colby, 11, said placing second against 18 teams was surprising.
"We were actually hoping to place in (the core values) category" for excellent teamwork while using problem-solving techniques, Jeremiah said.
The First Lego League program — available in several North Okaloosa County schools, including Bob Sikes Elementary, Davidson and Shoal River Middle Schools — allows students to work with Lego robotics.
The league annually presents a new challenge for each team. "Nature's Fury," this year's challenge, requires teams to build robots that effectively respond to natural disasters.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.