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LEGO Robotics Teams Compete for Utah State Title

Students compete at the 2012 Utah FIRST LEGO League State Championship.

Jan. 14, 2014 – After competing with 276 teams at 14 qualifiers, 48 teams from Utah middle schools will advance to the fourth annual FIRST LEGO League state championship at the University of Utah, Saturday, Jan. 25. Teams will be competing with their LEGO robots and presenting innovative projects after months of preparation. The event is open to the public.

“The LEGO state championship draws many students with various backgrounds from all over the state,” says Kathy Hajeb, the Utah operational partner for FIRST LEGO League and a director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the U. “The students gain invaluable skills, such as teamwork, professionalism, cooperation and the ability to solve open-ended problems.”

At the championship, like the qualifiers, teams take turns running their LEGO robots through a variety of challenges. Hit with various roadblocks and objectives, teams work together to navigate through the playing fields. However, the robots are only a portion of the tournament. FIRST LEGO League also awards teams for robot design, innovation project presentation and “core values.”

“We’ve seen for many years that students who participate in FIRST LEGO League are more confident, curious and eager to tackle real-world problems,” Hajeb says.

Utah’s FIRST LEGO League program is headquartered in the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the U. The university organizes the program to promote creativity and an interest in technology, innovation, science and engineering among Utah children.

Sponsors for the 2013 season include: Boart Longyear, Natural History Museum of Utah, Merit Medical, Utah Education Network, Williams, IM Flash Technologies, The Community Foundation of Utah, Utah Educational Savings Plan, Gary and Nancy Schmitt, Steve Borst and the Lund Foundation.

Learn more here.