IPFW Hosts Indiana’s Largest Robotics Tournament for Kids!

Tusky, IPFW logo.

Press release from IPFW:

IPFW Hosts Indiana’s Largest Robotics Tournament for Kids! FIRST® LEGO® League Indiana Championship Tournament
Sponsored by ITT Corporation

(December 6, 2010) – With 17,000+ teams in more than 50 countries, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) is constantly expanding. Indiana joins those ranks, fielding a record breaking 166 teams from throughout the state. Indiana’s FLL teams join in the task of researching real-world scientific topics while also designing and building an original robot in the 2010 FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) “Body Forward” Challenge.

Teams from around the world have been working since September on “Body Forward,” a two-part robotics challenge based on biomedical engineering that requires research to complete the project phase, and science and engineering to master the complex missions of the robot game phase.

After competing in one of six Indiana qualifying tournaments, the field has been narrowed from 166 to 48 teams vying for the Indiana Championship. On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Gates Sports Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) will come alive with the energy of these teams competing in the eleventh annual IPFW-ITT Indiana FLL Championship Tournament. The Indiana Championship winner will earn the opportunity to compete at the next level against teams from throughout the world.

Six of the 48 teams competing are local. Fort Wayne teams include Boy Scout Troop 300, Summit Middle School, and two teams from Carroll Middle School. In addition, Huntington County 4-H Robotics team and Indian Springs Middle School in Columbia City will be represented.

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) is an international program for 9 to 14-year-old children to get them excited about science and technology—and teach them valuable employment and life skills. 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. The competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Throughout the competition, these teams will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

For the 2010 “Body Forward” project phase, teams research a body part, function, or system; create an innovative solution to protect, repair, heal, or improve it; and share their solution(s) with the global community.

In the robot game phase, teams confront some of today’s medical issues and apply robotics, sensor technology, and ingenuity to solve them. Robot missions in the FLL Challenge range from the familiar, including bone repair, rapid blood screening, and pace makers, to the futuristic, such as nerve mapping, bionic eyes, and object control through thought. The robots, designed by the children and built using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies, require a variety of mechanical capabilities to accomplish the missions set forth in the Challenge.

The FLL competition is judged in four areas: project presentation, robot performance, robot design, and teamwork, with a consideration of the FLL Core Values. The highest honor will go to the team that is the most rounded in these areas and best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program. Select teams will also have the opportunity to participate at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, to be held in conjunction with the FIRST Championship, April 27-30, 2011, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada), and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr. FLLâ„¢) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalismâ„¢ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org. To learn more about the “Body Forwardâ„¢” Challenge, go to www.FIRSTLEGOLeague.org.

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