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

Space Grant Funds West Virginia Robotics Event

Thu May 8 2008

The Center for Educational Technologies® has received a grant from the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium to host the annual West Virginia FIRST LEGO League robotics tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

The grant of $9,000 will help pay tournament expenses. The tournament will be held Dec. 13 at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, where the Center for Educational Technologies is located.

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.