Earlier this month, 44 scholastic teams recently gathered at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Gates Athletics Center Field House to compete in the 17th annual FIRST LEGO League state championships.
Each of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) teams — comprised of children ages 9-14 — advanced to the state tournament out of 279 teams that competed at 13 qualifying tournaments held earlier in the year throughout northern Indiana. The state tournament for 30 southern Indiana teams is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2017 at the Foundation of Youth in Columbus, with the winner advancing to St. Louis as well.
“The robot games are run like a sporting event with referees scoring the matches, teams creating an identity with catchy names and shirts and vying to earn the best robot score they can from the judges,” said Carol Dostal, director of outreach programs at IPFW’s College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science.
“FIRST Lego League is a great experiential learning opportunity,” said Manoochehr Zogi, dean of the college. “It relates to engineering, technology, computer science and leadership that truly prepares these young men and women with 21st-century life skills.”
Winning the tournament’s Champion’s Award and advancing in April to the LEGO World Festival in St. Louis was Flufflepuff from Granger, Ind.