On Saturday, dozens of youth participated in Utah’s FIRST LEGO League tournament at Utah State University’s STE2M Center in the Edith Bowen Lab School. The league is a youth robotics and innovation competition for students age nine to 14 years old.
The USU event was a qualifying event for the state tournament. Additional qualifying events were held throughout the state Saturday and more will be held January 16th and 17th. The state championship will be held at Utah Valley University on January 30th. Three teams from Saturday’s event in Logan advance to the state championship at the end of the month.
Job Cyril was on <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2016_01_11_324_40967_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s For the People program Friday</a> to talk about the event. He said the process for the regional tournaments actually began in the fall when teams were initially created and then started preparing their LEGO robots and project presentations.
“Every year FIRST LEGO League organizes this event, not just in Logan but all over the world,” Cyril said. “In Utah alone there are 325 teams that are competing, from Logan all the way to St. George, to qualify to go to state.”
Cyril said 18 teams in the Logan area have been working since August on their robotic projects. Those teams come from schools or just neighborhood friends.
On Saturday, teams took turns running their robots through a variety of challenges on thematic playing fields. The theme for Saturday’s event was Trash Trek and encouraged students to work in teams and explore the process of handling waste.
“It is a fascinating world of what you throw away and kids found innovative ways to handle waste,” Cyril added.
Besides competing in various challenges with their LEGO robots, students were also competing for robot design, innovation project presentation and “Core Values” awards. FIRST LEGO League “Core Values” include ‘What We Learn is More Important than What We Win’ and ‘Gracious Professionalism.’
“Next year, the second week of January, we will host the event again at the STEM Center,” Cyril added. “So this is something that if anybody is interested can prepare. It can be a school team or a neighborhood team. It is open for anyone between the ages of nine and 14.”
Cyril said it is a great opportunity for students who are interested in STEM subjects, but more particularly interested in LEGOs and robotics. He said both boys and girls participate every year. Registration begins in May but there is a limit to the number of teams that are allowed to join. Cyril said anyone can call him at (435) 760-0200 if they have any additional information about the program.