By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Rockway Middle School 7th grade students and their robots are battling it out this weekend at an international competition.

The students built the robots, programmed them, and will undoubtedly learn many lessons that will last a lifetime.

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It is billed as the largest robotics competition in the world.

The students representing Miami-Dade are state Vex IQ champs and that put them in the big show.

“So, right now, they are practicing over here and making sure that we are down for everything and everything is good,” said Luke Amor, a 7th grader at the school.

More than 1,600 teams from 79 countries compete in the three-day competition.

The 7th graders designed, built, programmed, and learned to control the robots. The name of the game is to be able to maneuver the robots, while being timed, on a chess-board-looking field and move the risers. Stacking three risers will yield 30 points.

“I think the most difficult thing I have done is rebuilding the robot. There have been three generations. Three times now. This is the third robot now,” said student Tyler Gottlieb.

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A big lesson beyond building and programming the robots is record-keeping logs, an important skill for future engineers and programmers.

“Our team has a robot and a notebook, where we write down everything we do. I write most of the entries into that,” said Amor.

So, what are the dreams these kids have, and what’s on the horizon? The students are focused and keyed into the future.

“I want to work in aerospace, to fly. I prefer to be a pilot or astronaut, but you have to know how something works. What I gain from this experience is the concept of engineering and how it can be applied to the real world,” adds Gottlieb.

Teacher Rosa Rengifo heads up the ‘Rockway Rockbots’ team.

“It is like a dream. We are in the world competition. This is the largest robotic competition right now, in the world. To get in is super difficult,” Rengifo said.

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The South Florida students met for two hours every day to work on their robots leading up to the competition.