University of Rochester

EVENT: Children Use Research and Robotics To Tackle Natural Disasters During First LEGO League Championship

December 5, 2013

WHAT: Creativity and science will come together at this weekend's FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) Championship Tournament at the University of Rochester. The competition brings the top 36 teams, selected from a regional pool of 122 teams, to demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

This year's "NATURE'S FURYSM" Challenge calls for the teams—made up of 9 through 14 year olds—to research and present their own creative solutions to one of today's most relevant topics: natural disasters. Teams will discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work, and play. With missions such as positioning an evacuation sign, clearing an airplane's runway from debris, and delivering supplies, teams will have to program their LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots to complete an obstacle course set on a thematic playing surface.

TIME, DATE, PLACE: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Palestra and the Goergen Athletic Center on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Morning activities include practice rounds and judged presentations from each team.

12:45 to 3:30 p.m.: The tournament continues with the robotics competition, which may provide the best photo and video opportunities.

4 to 5 p.m.: Closing ceremony.

WHAT: FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international program created to inspire children ages nine through 14 to celebrate science and technology–and teach them valuable career and life skills. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies and LEGO Education materials, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build, and program autonomous robots and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project. After eight intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Like any other organized "sport," teams also fundraise, create a team identity, and go on field trips.

This year, more than 100 teams from the Finger Lakes region have competed in six qualifier tournaments in hopes of making it to the championship. This weekend's Finger Lakes Regional Championship Tournament is being sponsored by The University of Rochester, Time Warner, Xerox, Wegmans, with additional support from Red Cross, ShelterBox and other local companies and organizations supporting individual teams throughout the season.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information about the competition, please call on-site media contact Christina Pero at 585.727.1358.




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