Feb. 10: State Lego championship tournament

Forty teams of 9-14 year olds are to arrive in Grand Forks from across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota on Saturday, Feb. 10, to show off their science, engineering and technology skills at the ND FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) Robotics State Championship tournament.  The competition, which is open to the public, is held annually at the UND Memorial Union. This year each team needed to qualify to be able to compete in the state championship. The robot competition opening ceremony is at 11:45 a.m. and continues through 3:30 p.m.  Awards will be presented at approximately 3:45 p.m.

Every year, FLL works with experts in the field to create a challenge that relates to a significant real-world issue. This year is the HYDRO DYNAMICSSM Challenge where teams explore an learn all about water – how to find, transport, use, or dispose of it. 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. It’s a fun way to get kids excited in science and technology.

The HYDRO DYNAMICSSM Challenge calls for teams of 9-16 years old children (ages vary by country) worldwide to research and present their original tools and/or tactics that enrich the current landscape of learning. Teams will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a series of wisdom-gathering missions which include: turning the pump system value(s), make the water treatment model eject its Big Water,  make the fountain’s middle layer rise due to Big water in the gray tub, and more. The cornerstones of the experience are the FLL Core Values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly competition, learning, and community involvement.

The FLL competition is judged in four areas: project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and FLL Core Values. The highest honor goes to the team that best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program.

The University of North Dakota and the College of Engineering and Mines hosts the event with the help of many UND student, industry and community volunteers.  National Sponsors for this season are 3M, Lego Education, National Instruments, and Rockwell Automation.

This year’s event is presented by John Deere. Sponsors of this year’s event include: University of North Dakota College of Engineering and Mines, Career and Technical Education, LM Wind Power, HB Sound, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, Minnkota Power, American Crystal Sugar, Otter Tail Power Company, Alerus Financial, Retrax Holdings LLC, Northland Community & Technical College, Whalen’s Moving & Storage, Probitas Promotions, Advanced Engineering & Environmental Services Inc., (AE2S), and Dakota Science Center.

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.