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ST. LOUIS - It's usually the home of the St. Louis Rams, but this week, the Edward Jones Dome has attracted thousands of young people from around the world.

They're competing in a robotics competition that often leads to engineering and science careers, and that's the whole point of the FIRST Robotic Competition.

No need to ask if these people "Got Bot." They've got 'em and they get it.

"Robots. I mean, c'mon. People just like robots," said Santiago Lopez.

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Anybody who loves movies knows that robots are cool. Especially the T-1000 in Terminator 2, or R2D2 of Star Wars fame. Even the president got a kick out of robots this week in Japan.

In St. Louis, it's the fourth year the FIRST Robotics Championship, and it has made its home at America's Center with 1,200 participants from 38 countries.

And every year the gender gap closes with more young ladies joining robotics teams. Science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, isn't just for boys.

"STEM is a really cool thing and the boys shouldn't just be doing it. It's really nice to see a lot of girls coming into," said Emily Yale.

The reason there's so much corporate support for the FIRST Robotics Championship is that companies want to nurture the next generation of critical thinkers and problem solvers. One of these young people might grow up to create the next big thing.

In the meantime, kids just want to have fun. And they are.

FIRST is an acronym: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and here's how quickly this event is growing: next year, there will be 200 additional teams, and the event will be held at multiple venues in St. Louis.

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