Youth Explore Science and IT with Robotics

Acadia University hosts High School and FIRST LEGO League Championship Tournaments

Youth Robotics

Youth from across Nova Scotia will be on a mission February 4 at Acadia University as they compete to design and program robots for special missions.

Two fast-paced competitions, one each for teams, at the high school and middle school levels, will foster interest in computer programming, science, math, problem solving and teamwork..

High school teams will develop robot hardware and computer software to tackle challenging problems developed at Acadia that require sensing and moving objects in partially known environments. Middle school teams will join nearly 200,000 students from around the world tackling the 2011 FIRSTâ LEGOâ League (FLLâ) “Food Factor®” Challenge. To successfully complete their challenge, team members will research, build, and program LEGO® MINDSTORMSâ robots to explore ways food can become contaminated. That may be from exposure to insects and creatures, unsterile processing and transportation, or unsanitary preparation and unsafe storage. Teams will propose real-world solutions for preventing or combating contamination. Through hands-on experience and working in teams, all of the participants have a chance to gain an appreciation for, and interest in, science and technology.

WHAT: More than 300 youth on 43 teams go head-to-head, putting five-months of research, design, and programming to the test in a regional Championship Tournament to win honours and recognition. The FLL season will culminate with the FLL Open North America Championship in May 2012.

WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2012, 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Opening Ceremony 1:00 p.m., Championship Tournament 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Awards Ceremony 5:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Acadia University Arena Complex, War Memorial Gymnasium, 550 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Amazing, custom-built robots come to life in fast-paced, timed competitions
Hundreds of festively dressed teams and coaches putting designs and skills to the test
Students interacting with local volunteers and judges from community organizations
On-site teamwork, troubleshooting, problem solving
Food safety research on display
Spirit and excitement as students, families, friends cheer for their local teams 

*Access to and interviews with students, teachers, coaches, mentors and local sponsors available upon request.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to To learn more about the “Body Forward®” Challenge, go to View the April, 2010 FLL World Festival Photo Gallery.

The LEGO Group is a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities through high-quality, creatively educational play materials, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen:  "Only the best is good enough."  For more information, visit

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FTC® are registered trademarks, and Gracious Professionalism™ is a common law trademark, of the United States Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). LEGO® and MINDSTORMS® are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL®, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, Jr.FLL™, and Body Forward® are jointly held trademarks of FIRST and The LEGO Group. ©2010 FIRST and The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Wilder, Director, Robot Programming Competitions, 902.585.1105

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