ISU Headlines

ISU to host 2009 First LEGO League Regional Qualifier

Posted November 23, 2009

Idaho State University’s College of Technology Electronics Department and the Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC) will host the 2009 FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifier on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5, at the Pond Student Union and Reed Gym in Pocatello.  

More than 40 teams from Southeastern Idaho and Northern Utah are expected for the event.  Teams of children, ages 9 to 14 have embarked on an exploration of the transportation system in the “Smart Move Challenge”. The teams have been working together since the Challenge was announced on Sept. 3.

“Smart Move” looks at the community (defined by the students) and discovers how people, animals, information, and things travel. Teams must pick one main mode of transportation and research what kinds of problems keep people and things from getting where they are going safely, what problems keep people and things from moving efficiently and quickly and which use the least amount of energy.  Ideally the teams help solve one of these problems.

“Smart Move” provides an exciting and fun way to ignite enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology in youth. Teams are judged on Robot Design, Project Presentation, Teamwork and Robot Performance. Team members prepare and do the work themselves versus having an adult direct them in what to do.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League values include:

       · Respect each other in the best spirit of teamwork

       · Behave with courtesy and compassion for others at all times

       · Honor the spirit of friendly sportsmanship

       · Act with integrity

       · Demonstrate gracious professionalism

       · Encourage others to adopt these values

This is the 11th season for the international FIRST Lego League. More than 200 teams have registered throughout Idaho this year almost double the number of participants from last year. Teams compete first at the regional level and if they score high enough will then advance to the state tournament which will also be held in Pocatello on January 16, 2010.    

The event is free and open to the public. The most visual part of the Qualifier is the Robot Competition. This will begin at 12 p.m. in Reed Gym. An award ceremony will be held following completion of the competition.  

Many volunteers are needed to help make this event a success. If you are interested in helping, please contact Sherry Rindels-Larsen at rindsher@isu.edu or (208) 282-3224. We are looking for judges, referees, and scorekeepers for either Friday evening or Saturday throughout the day. Training for volunteers will be provided.