UTEP Engineering Hosts Regional FIRST LEGO League Championships
The public is invited to attend the regional Junior FIRST Lego League (Jr. FLL) and FIRST Lego League (FLL) Championship hosted by the College of Engineering. The tournament will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 in Memorial Gym at The University of Texas at El Paso.
With this year’s theme, ‘Senior Solutions,’ participants will have a chance to explore the many ways they can help senior citizens in their daily life by improving independence and engaging and connecting them better with their communities.
The Jr. FLL competition is for students in grades K-3 (ages 6 to 9), while students in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14) compete in the FLL competition. Both will challenge participants to build, test and program an automatic robot using Lego Mindstorms to solve the presented mission on an obstacle course.
Founded nearly 20 years ago, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) is a national nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs designed to build science, engineering and technology skills.
FIRST competitions not only provide students with an experience to develop their math and science problem solving skills at an early age, they also teach them to organize, communicate and delegate –vitally important skills for technical careers.
According to Virgilio Gonzalez, Ph.D., senior lecturer and associate chair of electrical and computer engineering, the FIRST programs provide students from kindergarten to high school with an exciting exposure to STEM disciplines, and the multiple robotics events that UTEP hosts actively engage young students to think, explore, solve and create solutions as a means to introduce and inspire them to consider an engineering career.
“We are also very fortunate to have an enthusiastic group of engineering organizations volunteering time and resources to make this a success,” he said.
Richard Schoephoerster, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering, will welcome competitors and officially open the free event.
What: Regional Junior FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Championship, hosted by the UTEP College of Engineering
When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15
Where: Memorial Gym, UTEP campus