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NDSU to Host FIRST LEGO League Tournament
North Dakota Ag Connection - 01/14/2020

Dozens of children in grades 3-7 will put their robotics skills to the test during the FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier Tournament hosted by the NDSU College of Engineering. The event is scheduled for Jan. 25.

A total of 38 teams will come from around the Fargo area. The teams may have up to 10 members who apply science, engineering and math concepts, plus a dose of imagination, to develop solutions to real-world challenges.

In keeping with this year's theme, "City Shaper," the teams designed, built and programmed LEGO-based robots to navigate, capture, transport, activate or deliver objects. They also worked on an innovation project where they identify a problem with a building or public space in their own community and design a solution. The top 15 teams at the regional event will compete at the state tournament in Grand Forks.

FLL is a worldwide program that challenges students to think like scientists and engineers. Alongside adult coaches and mentors, teams solve problems and learn engineering concepts, presentation techniques and programming.

"I'm always impressed by the technical knowledge, creativity and maturity these students demonstrate at the tournament," said Lauren Singelmann, outreach coordinator for the NDSU College of Engineering. "Many of these teams have been working since August on the robot missions and Innovation Project, so the tournament is when we get to celebrate the hard work the students have put in and all of the things they've learned."

The competition also introduces young people to the fun and excitement of science and technology, while building self-confidence, knowledge and valuable career and life skills.

"The robot matches are serious and competitive, but everyone also gets to have a lot of fun by wearing team costumes, cheering on the other teams and even having group dance parties in between matches," Singelmann said.

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