Science Central hosts First LEGO League Robotics Competition on Sunday, November 17

Fort Wayne, Indiana…LEGOs and robots will come together to help school teams solve real-world problems at Science Central’s 11th annual FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Indiana Qualifying Tournament. The event is slated for Sunday, November 17, 2013 at Science Central, with Robot Performance competitions beginning at 12:30 p.m. Science Central will offer half-price admission for the event.

This year’s challenge, “Nature’s Fury,” is about finding solutions to assist in emergency evacuations caused by severe weather conditions. The challenge involves designing technology to deal with emergency procedures: moving individuals to designated shelters, providing supplies, finding shelter and caring for animals during weather emergencies. Two qualifying teams will advance on to the state championship tournament held on December 14, 2013 at IPFW.

This is the first time the event has been held at the popular science center. “This year the First Lego League Regional Qualifying tournament is moving to Science Central, where we’ll utilize remote broadcasting capabilities to showcase the competition in our new AEP Foundation Science On a Sphere Theater and in our Traveling Exhibitions Gallery,” said Science Central Education Director Jenny Young. “The competitions will take place in the Lincoln Financial Foundation Demonstration Theater, and visitors will be able to observe the competitions happening in different locations around our building.”
Twelve teams, which include more than 120 students ages 9-14 from northeastern Indiana schools, have been tasked with the challenge of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST LEGO® League Qualifying Tournament. These teams of children, and their mentors, will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

Children involved in FLL solve real-world engineering challenges, discover career possibilities, and learn to make positive contributions to society. FLL teams apply math and science concepts to research, design, build and program autonomous robots; gain hands-on experience solving real-world problems; learn from and interact with adult mentors; and work as a group to overcome obstacles and meet challenges.

“First LEGO League competitions often spark future career paths for kids who participate in these challenges,” said Science Central Executive Director Martin S. Fisher. “I’d be willing to bet there were quite a few Silicon Valley engineers, NASA scientists, and maybe Hoosier teachers who were influenced by LEGO robotics. We want to foster that same kind of enthusiasm for robotics and engineering right here in Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana with this competition. That’s why we have continued to support and grow this program through the years.”

Science Central is the primary sponsor for the event, with assistance from presenting sponsors General Dynamics and Indiana Tech.

For more information about the event, please contact Jenny Young at (260) 424-2400 ext. 442 or jenny@sciencecentral.org. Please visit www.sciencecentral.org/firstlegoleague.htm <http://www.sciencecentral.org/firstlegoleague.htm> or www.firstlegoleague.org <http://www.firstlegoleague.org/> for First Lego League information.