Image that reads Center for Educational Technologies. This image links to the Center for Educational Technologies home page.

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

West Virginia Robotics Competition Returns to Center

Wed Dec 16 2009

Getting from Point A to Point B isn't always as simple as it seems.

Competitors in this year's West Virginia FIRST LEGO® League robotics tournament at Wheeling Jesuit University will focus on the Point A to Point B conundrum by not only programming their robots to gain access to places and things while avoiding or surviving impacts, but also by researching the modes of transportation in their communities and looking for ways to improve them or solve transportation problems.

The Center for Educational Technologies® will host the annual statewide robotics tournament Saturday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the fifth year the center is hosting the tournament, which is funded by the West Virginia NASA Space Grant Consortium. This year 27 teams have entered the competition, the most ever. Nearly 200 youth will compete for an invitation to April's FIRST LEGO League World Festival in Atlanta.

Smart Move is the theme of this year's competition. Student teams have preprogrammed their LEGO robots to serve as sensor-equipped vehicles to perform various transportation-related tasks, among them maneuvering and parking in certain target areas, steering to retrieve objects, avoiding warning beacons and sensor walls, and helping crash test figures in the vehicles to survive impact.

A research presentation is another part of the tournament. Students have examined their community and how people, animals, information and things travel there. They will report on obstacles to travel and the solutions they've come up with. Judges will also observe and interview the students to determine how well they demonstrate the teamwork skills required for successful research and engineering projects.

The tournament is open to the public and begins with opening ceremonies at the Troy Theater at 8:45 a.m. and ends there as well with an awards ceremony beginning at 3:30 p.m. Audiences can see the robots close up at practice areas all day long or research presentations until 12:45 in the Center for Educational Technologies building. The table competition itself takes place on the Troy Theater stage. Younger visitors can build in the LEGO Construction Zone while the competition takes place.

In addition to the primary funding from the West Virginia NASA Space Grant Consortium, other contributors are Wheeling Jesuit University; American Electric Power; Health Bridge Imaging of Belpre, OH; and LEGO Education.

Here are the teams set to compete this year along with number of members and hometown:
  • Block Busters, 10, Morgantown
  • Bulldogs, 8, West Union
  • Career Center Critters, 4, Delbarton
  • Doddridge Drones, 10, West Union
  • Geek Central, 9, Morgantown
  • J-Ro (sponsored by Health Bridge Imaging), 8, Parkersburg
  • LEGO Lifesavers Transportation Team, 8, Huntington
  • LEGO Lunatics, 10, Morgantown
  • LEGO My Eggo, 10, Morgantown
  • MARS Rovers, 5, Morgantown
  • Midget Men, 5, Martinsburg
  • Millenium Mechanics, 9, Bridgeport
  • MV Brown, 7, Welch
  • MV Gold, 6, Welch
  • Pirate RoboTeers, 5, Morgantown
  • PRIDE (Preston Robotics Is Definitely Epic), 8, Kingwood
  • PyroBots, 4, Shenandoah Junction
  • RoboRaiders, 4, Wheeling
  • Roboteers, 6, Morgantown
  • Rock'em Sock'em, 8, West Union
  • Smarticle Robo Builders, 6, Morgantown
  • South Test Dummies, 8, Morgantown
  • The Cloverbotics, 10, Kingwood
  • The Culloden LEGO Cats, 6, Culloden
  • The Rocket Scientists, 10, Morgantown
  • Trinity Robo Warriors, 5, Morgantown
  • Virtual Vikings, 7, Morgantown
For more information, contact Meri Cummings at or at 304-243-2499.