Cincinnati students do their part to save the day with Lego robots at iSpace’s robotics tournament

No need to fear, Lego robots are here.

On December 14, Cincinnati area students showed their Lego engineering prowess at this year’s First Lego League Robotics Tournament, sponsored by iSpace and held at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.  

Prior to this, thirty-five participating area teams of nine to 14 year olds were given three months to tweak and tinker with their robots.  At the tournament, the robots were then unleashed in a simulated environment, in which they were tested against the elements. 

The robots, built with Lego kits, were put to the task of saving a model house from a flood, opening
and closing windows, even building a levy, among several other challenges – all in a 2 ½ minute time frame.

However, tinkering with robots was not the only item on the agenda.  The students were also assigned homework.

In line with this year’s tournament them, Climate Connections, the students were given the task of researching a climate-related environmental issue and proposing a solution to government leaders who can act on their proposals.

The students were evaluated on the performance of their robots, climate issue presentations and teamwork.

Alongside the nine to 14 year olds, students aged six to nine also displayed their Lego creations and climate research projects.

“Developing an interest and skills in science, math and technology is vital, especially at an early age.  The FIRST Lego League tournaments provide excellent opportunities for young people in our area to do just that,” said Jana Martin Kemp, assistant project manager, external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

In addition to last weekend’s local tournament, First Lego estimates this year to be its biggest to date, with over 135,000 students on 12,000 teams in 40 countries competing. 

Writer: Jonathan DeHart
Source: iSpace, Lisa Desatnik, Jana Martin Kemp
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