IPFW hosts FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament to select national championship qualifiers


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News release from IPFW:

IPFW Hosts FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament to Select National Championship Qualifiers

(December 4, 2015) — On December 12, 2015, the College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science (ETCS) at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) will welcome 52 Indiana FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) robotics teams who earned a spot at the championship tournament out of the 252 teams who attended qualifying events in November and early December. This year’s TRASH TREK Challenge asked children ages 9 to 14 from all over the country to explore the fascinating world of trash and develop innovative solutions to the global trash challenge.

From collection and sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is more to your trash than meets the eye. FLL teams have been on a TRASH TREK to discover the hidden (or not so hidden) world of trash and develop innovative solutions to the global trash challenge. These teams have made it through a season of planning and practicing and have been selected from one of 13 FLL qualifying tournaments in their regional area, including events at Science Central and Ivy Tech in November.

At the Indiana Championship Tournament, teams from all over the state will compete for the championship title and advancement to the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, to be held in St. Louis in April 2016. The tournament also selects 20 other award winners, sponsored by Harris.

IPFW launched the state-wide tournament in 2000, making northeast Indiana and Fort Wayne the “hub” for an emerging educational program that has inspired thousands of youth and volunteers to get involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) robotics. The current statewide FLL system, led by IPFW, is comprised of partnerships with five universities, two school systems, three FIRST robotic groups, the Indianapolis Public Library, and two STEM non-profits that comprise a two-tiered system comparable to their counterpart sports and music programs.

Indiana teams participated with 29,000 teams worldwide in this year’s challenge. Teams were tasked to research and present their original tools and/or tactics to support people and planet. In the exciting robot game phase, teams built, tested, and programmed an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT or the EV3 to solve a set of missions which include converting organic material into fertilizer, fixing a car by installing a new engine, demolishing a building and salvaging valuable materials from the debris and more, all while moving through a course of LEGO structures. The cornerstones of the experience are building skills in STEM and the FLL Core Values that emphasize the contributions of others, friendly competition known as “Gracious Professionalism®,” and community involvement.

On Saturday afternoon the IPFW fieldhouse will ring out with excitement and cheering to crown the 2015 Indiana FLL championship team. The teams will compete in the robot games in the afternoon, which will be streamed live on an IPFW webpage visible to family members who cannot be here in person. The robot games are run like a sporting event, with referees scoring the matches. Teams create a team identity with catchy names and shirts, cheering their team on to get the highest robot score. The Indiana champions will earn the opportunity to be invited to a national or international invitational to compete against other championship teams. The robot games and FLL closing ceremony take place from 11:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. These events are free and open to the public.


About FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
FLL is an international program for 9 to 14 year-old children (9 to 16 outside North America) created in a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen) and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology and teach them valuable career and life skills.

Currently in its eighteenth year, FIRST LEGO League anticipates its largest season ever, with approximately 29,000 teams competing in hundreds of qualifying tournaments and championship tournaments from over 80 countries.


About FIRST®
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. Gracious Professionalism® 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 usfirst.org.


About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group is a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company is still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family who founded it in 1932. The LEGO Group is engaged in the development of children’s creativity through playing and learning. Based on the world-famous LEGO® brick, the company today provides toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit LEGO.com.


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