State LEGO robot tournament at TTU in December

A tournament using miniature robots built from LEGO parts to meet a specified technological challenge will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.

The First LEGO League program is an interactive competition that seeks to inspire curiosity among youth ages 9-14 by captivating their interest in science and technology as they master the dynamics of teamwork and problem solving.

Using LEGO building elements, electric motors, and sensors, teams build, program, and test their fully autonomous LEGO robot capable of completing various tabletop missions.

The 2002 challenge, to be issued Sept. 16, will give teams eight weeks to construct and test a robot to complete its mission during the December Cookeville competition. The challenge for this year, "City Sights," highlights the problems of urban development and potential ways robotics technology might be used to solve these problems.

Team members must take on specific roles and responsibilities during the challenge. Judges will grade the teams at the competition on how the robot performs on the table and on how team members work together in their preparations.

Teams from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi have competed in the tournament during the past two years, and more than 1,000 participants, parents and supporters have attended each year. Additional space has been added to this year's event to accommodate 60 teams. Approximately 2,000 people are expected at this year's event.

First LEGO League promotes numerous solutions in a competitive but friendly environment, enabling youth to discover the rewards of science and technology.

More information about the Cookeville tournament and team registration is available on the World Wide Web at www.usfirst.org/jrobtcs
The tournament is co-sponsored by Tennessee Tech, the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge and UT-Battelle.

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