UND to host FIRST® LEGO® Robotics Championship Tournament for regional students

Thirty teams of 9 to14-year olds will arrive in Grand Forks from across North Dakota, South Dakota and northwest Minnesota on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the University of North Dakota’s Memorial Union Ballroom to show off their science, engineering and technology skills at the ND FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Robotics Championship competition.

The opening ceremony is at 9 a.m., with the competition underway until 2 p.m.  Awards will be presented at 2:30 pm.

Every year, FLL works with experts in the field to create a Challenge that relates to a significant real-world issue. The end result is a two-part Challenge that requires research to complete The Project, and science and engineering to master the complex missions of The Robot Game, which includes the Missions and the Rules. It’s a fun way to get kids excited in science and technology.

This year’s robotics and research challenge, “Body Forward” will explore the cutting-edge world of Biomedical Engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body’s potential, with the intended purpose of leading happier and healthier lives.
The FLL competition is judged in four areas: 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.

Also being demonstrated at this year’s tournament are the Minot and Hatton-Northwood FIRST® Robotics Championship (FRC) robots, a FIRST® Tech Challenge robot, and the Jr. FLL program, demonstrated by the STEM Center at Valley City State University.

The University of North Dakota and the School of Engineering and Mines host the event with the help of many UND student and community volunteers.  Corporate sponsors include: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Xcel Energy, Cargill, Otter Tail Power Company, Bobcat, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (AE2S), Laserlith Corporation, EAPC Architects and Engineers, HB Sound & Light, and S&S Promotions. The event is free and open to the public.

About FIRST®

FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity. FIRST is supported by a strong network of sponsors and volunteers.

FIRST provides the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for students in Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18), the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) for Grades 4-8 (ages 9 to 14) , and the Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) for Grades K-3 (ages 6 to 9). For more information, visit www.usfirst.org.

About the LEGO® Group

The LEGO Group, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality, creatively educational play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: “Only the best is good enough.” For more information, visit www.LEGO.com.

LEGO, MINDSTORMS® and their respective logos are registered trademarks of the LEGO Group.

FIRST and its logos are registered trademarks of US FIRST.

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