The Imagineers will take their fourth run at a state title Feb. 6.

The Imagineers will take their fourth run at a state title Feb. 6.

The Dublin FIRST Lego League team qualified for the state competition Feb. 6 and 7 in the Nutter Center in Dayton and is hoping to make it to the national contest after three tries in as many years.

The team includes Sells Middle School students Ria Singhal, Madeline Watson, Sanjay Janardhan and Ritikha Nidimusali; Karrer Middle School students Aneetej Arora and Siddharth Gadepalli; Wyandot Elementary School student Sahar Arora; and Panya Bhinder of Columbus Academy.

In this year's Trask-Trek-themed competition, the team did not expect to make it to state competition.

"I didn't think we'd make it this far," said Gadepalli, a seventh-grader.

"I was worried we wouldn't make it," sixth-grader Aneetej Arora said.

But the team did make it to the state event and members said they think they have their invention, the "Composticker," to thank for that.

Each year the team has to think up a solution to a problem under the current theme. This year the Imagineers went with the problem stickers on fruits and vegetables have with composting. Both the stickers and glue often aren't compostable.

"They disturb the whole cycle," said Nidimusali, an eighth-grader.

To solve the problem Arora said the team looked into biodegradable plastic for the sticker and created its own glue.

Seventh-grader Janardhan said his mother told him about using a rice mixture to seal envelopes as a child, so when a corn starch glue turned moldly, they tried out rice glue.

"This is a type of depth that's not usually expected (in projects)," said Coach Rajiv Singhal.

Along with making glue and testing materials for stickers, the team visited a composting facility and talked to a food science researcher at the USDA and a farmer in California for research.

"They're talking to people this would directly affect," said Abhimanyu Singhal, a Coffman High School senior who is mentoring the team. "It was very clever of them."

Looking forward to the state competition, the team members said they feel good about their project so they'll spend time on programming a small Lego robot that has to complete several missions for points.

"The robot needs to get better," Janardhan said.

"Every day someone is coming here to work on the robot," the coach said. "They want to get better and are working so hard."

Missions for the robot this year include sorting blocks, pushing items into circles and punching buttons. A video the robot completing one of the missions can be found online at thisweeknews.com.

"It must be precise," Singhal said. "They increased the difficulty level."

But the team is on track and took the programming award at the district competition and the judge's award at regionals.

"We get so close each year," Nidimusali said. "We're hoping this year to go onto nationals."