|UND to host LEGO robotics competition for area elementary, middle schoolers|
The University and the UND School of Engineering and Mines will host 30 teams of fourth through eight graders from North Dakota, South Dakota, and northwest Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 30, for the annual FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Robotics Championship.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Betty Engelstad Arena on the UND campus. The opening ceremony is at 9 a.m., with the competition underway until 2 p.m. Awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m.
FIRST LEGO League competitions introduce younger students to real-world engineering challenges by giving them the opportunity to build LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.
This year’s robotics and research challenge is titled “Smart Move.” It asks the competing elementary and middle school students to transform the way we look at transportation. The key to the “Smart Move” Challenge is accessing people, places, goods, and services safely and efficiently.
The FLL competition is judged on project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and teamwork. The highest honor will go to the team that best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program.
The Minot and Hatton-Northwood FIRST® Robotics Championship teams will demonstrate their robots that won previous competitions and will explain the tournament mission and rules. Organizers will also demonstrate FIRST® Tech Challenge, a new FIRST robotics program for high school students.
UND and the UND School of Engineering and Mines host the event with the help of many student and community volunteers. Corporate sponsors are Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Xcel Energy, Cargill, Otter Tail Power Company, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (AE2S), Laserlith Corporation, EAPC Architects and Engineers, Ralph Engelstad Arena, Inc., HB Sound & Light, and S&S Promotions.
-- Juan Pedraza, Writer/Editor, University Relations, email@example.com, 777-6571