On December 7, 2016

Norwich University to host annual Vermont FIRST® LEGO® League Championship for kids 9-14

Sunday, Dec. 11 at 9 a.m.—NORTHFIELD—Norwich University will host the annual Vermont FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) championship on Sunday, Dec. 11 in Shapiro Field House beginning at 9 a.m.
Founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST® LEGO® League is designed to inspire children in science and technology through the use of robotics. Open to 9- to 14-year-old students around the world, teams are tasked with researching a real-world scientific issue and designing and building an original robot.
Norwich University established the state’s regional FLL affiliate beginning in 2013 hosting regional qualifiers and beginning in 2015 hosting the state championship event.
The Norwich event on Dec. 11 marks the second year of an independent FLL region in the state of Vermont. With 24 teams of up to 10 students each, along with coaches and parents, there will be much to see throughout the day, and spectators are encouraged to attend.
Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies, student teams showcase the results of weeks of intense preparation as they deploy their robots to complete thematic challenges in autonomous robot matches. Teams connect with their local and global communities by using critical thinking, creativity, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM ) concepts to create and present innovative solutions to real-world challenges.
This year’s theme is “Animal Allies” and focuses on finding solutions to human-wildlife interactions.
Norwich campus visits are available all day. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related exhibits begin after noon. The schedule is approximate and subject to change.
Opening and closing ceremonies, as well as robot matches, take place at Shapiro Field House. Event highlights include team presentations to judges on their robot design choices and on their innovative solution to an animal allies-themed community problem. Teams also complete challenges during the event to demonstrate their ability to work as a group—an important component of the competition.
While the robots often attract the most attention, a key aspect of the FLL program is its “Core Values” which, according to its website, “are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FLL from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.”
After teams check-in, State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife Louis Porter will give opening remarks at 9 a.m.
Team presentations begin at 9:40 a.m. and continue through 12:30 p.m. Robot matches begin at noon and run throughout the remainder of the event. The day will conclude with an awards ceremony around 4:15 p.m.Throughout the day spectators are welcome to visit the on-campus Sullivan Museum & History Center, the state’s only Smithsonian Affiliate; watch a NAO humanoid robot demonstration; see demos from high school robotics teams (FRC and FTC invited), or tour Norwich’s 3D printing manufacturing lab.
For more information, contact the FLL team at FLL@norwich.edu, 802-485-2256.


Photo courtesy of Norwich University
A youngster puts his creative skills to use in this LEGO® creation.

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