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LEGO League A Labor Of Love

February 24, 2012, 5:32 PM by Kelly Bartnick

LEGO League A Labor Of Love
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Every year, organizing the FIRST LEGO League event has been a labor of love for Robyn Swets and Cindy Anderson.

"The kids are so excited. And that excitement is infections. The cheering and trying to help each other out and just seeing that science can be fun," Cindy Anderson said. 

But this year, the two women are doing it out of love for their husbands who won't be there.

"At the beginning, there was some question over whether we were actually going to keep going," Robyn Swets said. 

Dan Swets and Kevin Anderson were among the passengers killed in a December plane crash shortly after taking off from Sioux Falls for a robotics meeting in Rapid City.

"It depends on the moment," Cindy Anderson said.

"Yes, minute to minute. They always say take it day by day, but it's really minute by minute," Robyn Swets said. 

Nearly three months later, the legacy of Anderson and Swets and the others will be celebrated in the event the men loved so much.

"It was their passion to get the kids to love science. And they saw how excited the kids got and it was so good for them," Robyn Swets said. 

More than 500 students from 60 teams will flood into Saturday's competition at Augustana College. Its goal is to teach kids that science is fun and anyone can do it.

"They think, think, think," Cindy Anderson said.  "And here's these kids jumping and trying whatever. And we go, 'Wow! That was really cool!'"

In the years since the competition began in 2008, participating teams have doubled. This year, ten teams joined the line-up. All there because of two men who had a passion for science and the women who won't let the dream die.

"It's nice to do the things they were doing, and say, 'Dan would have done it this way,'" Robyn Swets said.

Two others were also killed in that crash. Joshua Lambrecht was a judge for the organization and the plane's pilot, Brian Blake.

Saturday's events run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Elmen Center at Augustana College.

Swets and Anderson also taught robots courses, which their wives are continuing. Get more information about South Dakota Robotics online.

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