The following is from a press release from Roger Williams University and the FIRST Lego League Rhode Island.
Nearly 500 elementary and middle school students competed in the 2012 FIRST LEGO® League “Food Factor” Robotics Tournament, held today on the campus of Roger Williams University.
Each member of the winning team, the self-named Mindstorms Mayhem team from in Middletown, R.I., walked away with not only top honors at the competition, but a four-year RWU scholarship of $5,000 per year – a total of $200,000 in scholarship dollars awarded. This marks the fourth year the University has offered winning scholarship prizes and its sixth year hosting the tournament. Roger Williams was the first organization to offer a college scholarship to a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League winning team in the international competition’s 13-year history.
Fifty-four teams of students ages 9 to 14, from across Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts, spent the morning presenting robots and research projects to judges and the afternoon on playing fields in points-based robot competitions. The team that excelled in the three judging categories – core values, robot and project – won the Champion’s Award and the tournament.
Each team focused on this year’s “Food Factor” challenge, exploring how food gets to plates safely and ready to eat, and where along the supply chain food might be contaminated. The 54 teams also met throughout the season to design, build and program a LEGO MINDSTORMS® NXT robot. Along the way, they identified and conducted research on a chosen food safety issue and developed an innovative solution to prevent or address the problem.
“FIRST LEGO League introduces students to scientists and industry professionals and broadens the students’ concept of what science is,” said FIRST LEGO League Rhode Island Coordinator Mary Johnson. “The competition also encourages students to sharpen their math and science skills while discovering how innovation helps solve problems facing our communities. With Roger Williams University’s continued support and presentation of scholarships, the program is a real investment in our state’s future.”
FIRST LEGO League is an international competition for elementary and middle school children featuring an annual real-world challenge that engages them in authentic scientific research andhands-on robotics design using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies andplay materials. Roger Williams University has hosted the annual Rhode Island FLL Championship Tournament on its campus since 2006. The Rhode Island FIRST LEGO League program is supportedlocally by dozens of corporations and community organizations.
About RWU: Roger Williams University located in Bristol, R.I. is a leading independent, coeducational liberal arts university with education for the professions, where students learn to be global citizens. With 42 academic programs, an array of co-curricular activities and study abroad opportunities on six continents, RWU is committed to its mantra of learning to bridge the world. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation’s greenest universities by The Princeton Review.
For more information, visit the FIRST website or the FIRST LEGO League website.