UTEP to Host FIRST Lego League Championship
January 20, 2017
What: FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. Championships
When: Saturday, Jan. 21. Media is advised to come between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Gym, UTEP campus
The University of Texas at El Paso's College of Engineering will partner up with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Inspires, a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, to bring robots to life during the FIRST LEGO League Championship and FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo on Saturday, Jan. 21 at UTEP's Memorial Gym. The event is free and open to the public.
The FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. give students and their adult coaches the opportunity to work and create together while they explore science and technology concepts. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to introduce STEM concepts to children ages 6 to 10. The theme for the 2016-17 season is Creature Craze Challenge, where children will learn about the wonders of the animal kingdom.
The FIRST LEGO League allows children in 4th through 8th grades to practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. They research a real-world problem and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build and program a robot using LEGO Mindstorms, then compete on a tabletop playing field. This year's challenge is Animal Allies and looks at how animals and humans co-exist.
"This competition is more than just robots," said Gabby Gándara, director of student services in the College of Engineering. "One part of the event is the way you design a robot and how you go about meeting certain obstacles. The other parts are the project and core values."
The championship event is open to the public and will include attractions such as a LEGO pit where students and parents can create something unique. Parents can participate in an Engineering Spelling Bee where they will be challenged to spell some of the hardest engineering terms.
Students from several school districts in El Paso and southern New Mexico will come with their robots in hopes to advance to LEGO land or other competition sites for the opportunity to compete. The College of Engineering also will be raffling off 10 scholarships to its summer camp, valued at $1,750.
For more information about the competition, visit robotics.utep.edu.