Utah Children Apply Research and Robotics to Explore in SUU’s FIRST ® LEGO® League Challenge

Published: January 15, 2020 | Read Time: 3 minutes

FIRST Lego League ChallengeCreativity and science will come together at this weekend’s FIRST® LEGO® League Southern Utah University Qualifying Event at American Academy of Innovation, where 11 teams of 9 to 14 year old’s and coaches will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

This season, more than 310,000 children in approximately 100 countries will explore how to improve their local community. Teams will have to program their LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots to solve a set of missions on an obstacle course set on a thematic playing surface.

For the CITY SHAPER Challenge, FIRST collaborated with experts in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, infrastructure, sustainability, and urban planning. These experts, who made up the Challenge Advisory Team, helped to create a theme and challenge missions that reflect what it takes to design and construct practical, sustainable, and beautiful buildings and spaces catering to the diverse needs of their users.

The competition is judged in three areas: Innovation Project; Robot Design, and Core Values, which embody aspects of teamwork and good sportsmanship. Top robot game scores are also honored.

FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 4-8th grades, created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable career and life skills. Using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technologies and LEGO® Education materials, 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. After several intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments. Like any other organized “sport,” teams also fundraise, create a team identity, and go on field trips.

This weekend’s SUU Qualifier will host approximately 120 students, coaches and supporters. 45 community volunteers will come together for the weekend to support the teams as judges, referees, querers, etc. FIRST LEGO League Utah has 245 teams across the state, each competing in one of eleven Qualifying Tournaments and two Championship Tournaments. About 2400 children will compete to win honors and recognition, as well as learn valuable STEM and interpersonal skills. Three teams from the SUU event will move on to compete at the Utah South Championship at Dixie State University, February 1, 2020. One Utah team will also have the opportunity to compete in the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Houston, TX  in April.

“The SUU FLL event is fun and well-organized.  There is a core of caring volunteers in the community that are committed to helping students succeed,” said Dana Dellinger, Utah Affiliate Partner for FIRST. “ FIRST LEGO League is an excellent, well-rounded STEM program that encourages students in engineering design, coding, research, problem solving, innovative thinking, teamwork and graciousness. It is a great program for SUU and for Utah.” 

For a list of the area schools and youth organizations with teams participating in the competition, see the attached page. 

About FIRST®  

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) 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 over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. 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 www.firstinspires.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 www.LEGO.com. 


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