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Center for Educational Technologies projects have ended (except Challenger Learning Center) and are no longer funded.

West Virginia Sets State Robotics Tournament

Mon Oct 15 2007

For the third year the Center for Educational Technologies® will host the West Virginia FIRST LEGO® League robotics tournament. Nearly 400 youngsters ages 9-14, their coaches and family members, and judges will visit the Wheeling Jesuit University campus in Wheeling, WV, for the competition Dec. 15, which will earn winners an invitation to April's FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Atlanta.

The theme of this year's competition is Power Puzzle: Energy Resources—Meeting the Global Demand. Last year 17 teams from across the Mountain State came to Wheeling. For those interested in volunteering as a judge or in some other capacity, contact Dr. Meri Cummings at or at 304-243-2499.

The FIRST LEGO League competition asks teams of children ages 9-14 to demonstrate problem-solving and research skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community as they build robots that can perform the functions required in the competition. In September teams learn the theme of this year's competition and then have about 12 weeks to prepare. Judges score the teams in five areas: research and presentation, robot performance, technical mechanics of the robot's construction, teamwork, and gracious professionalism.

The competitors use LEGO building blocks and a special programmable brick to construct the core of their robots. LEGO MindStorms team challenge robotics kits let teams add moving parts. Then the students create programs to perform a series of tasks with their robots.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League was created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company in 1998. More than 48,000 children participate in the program.

The West Virginia event is funded through grants from the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, American Electric Power, and LEGO education.