WPAFB to sponsor first Lego league tournament


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Educational Outreach Office will sponsor the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship Tournament slated for Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Ervin J. Nutter Center, on the campus of Wright State University.

The annual event will bring together teams of some of Ohio’s brightest 9-to-14 year-old students who will demonstrate their engineering and problem-solving skills, critical thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community. Sixty teams from across the state will compete in this event.

Local teams participating are: 4276 Beavercreek Superbuilders – community team; 17680 Square Roots – homeschool team; 4230 Hobbots – community team; 17361 Psychic Pineapples – The Miami Valley School; 15866 Thunder-Bots – Northmont City Schools; 26780 Darth Foxes – Ankeney Middle School; 1923 Robo Raptors – St Christopher Elementary School; 32411 Quick Bots – community team; 11180 Mighty Knights – Ascension School; 26355 Robo Rebels, 6999 Top Secret Robotics – Incarnation Catholic School; 9462 Blockinaties – community team; 24139 Technonati – The Miami Valley School; and 31426 Pals of Poseidon – community team.

Robot table competitions will run from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 4 on the main floor of the Nutter Center. The competition is free and open to the public.

Along with the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship, a FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo will take place. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is a non-competitive, hands-on STEM program designed for kids aged six to ten. Forty FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams from Dayton and the surrounding area will show off their Aqua Adventure season through their LEGO models and their Show Me research posters from 9 a.m. until noon. Also present will be FIRST Tech Challenge teams, competitive teams of students in grades 7-12, on site to demonstrate their robots.

Since 1988, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology and the LEGO Group have partnered to challenge youth teams who use LEGO® bricks, motors, gears, and software to design and build robots to solve real-world engineering challenges.

“Since 2001, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force base has been the supporting body of Ohio FIRST LEGO League by providing the funding and volunteers necessary to run the program,” said Brenda Ronnebaum, Ohio’s FIRST LEGO league director and Educational Outreach Office Robotics program manager at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “It’s our goal to show children that math, science, and engineering is fun and to encourage them to pursue careers in a STEM related field.”

Hydro dynamics HYDRO DYNAMICS is the theme for this year’s challenge. Students are tasked to find ways to improve the way people find, transport, use, and dispose of water.

“The FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship is the culminating tournament in Ohio’s HYDRO DYNAMICS season. This season consisted of 29 round one regional qualifying tournaments and six round two district qualifying tournaments which took place November through January. There are 554 teams in Ohio; the top 60 teams will represent Ohio FIRST LEGO League at the state championship event,” Ronnebaum said.

The FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship is sponsored and supported by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Educational Outreach; Air Force Research Laboratory, the Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science; the Ohio Educational Outreach Foundation; and Rockwell Automation.

For more information about the championship tournament and the Ohio FIRST LEGO League program, visit http://wpafbstem.com/pages/k12_FLL_overview.html.