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FIRST Lego League Competition Results

More than 350 students, teachers and volunteers gathered for the Owensboro Regional FIRST Lego League Competition Nov. 2 at Owensboro Community amp; Technical College.

Twenty schools from across the region participated including Audubon Elementary, Country Heights Elementary, Owensboro Catholic Middle, Southern Oaks Elementary, Sorgho Elementary and East View Elementary. Teams from Henderson and Southern Indiana also participated.

Teams competed in the Natures Fury challenge, which focused on the difficulties caused by natural disasters. Students presented innovative ways to solve problems using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and knowledge. FIRST (For Inspiration in Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization created in 1989 by Dean Kamen to get more students involved in STEM areas by making learning fun in a sport for the mind.

FIRST Lego League participants (ages 9-14) on teams of 5-10 worked together to design, build and program Lego MINDSTORMS robots. Throughout the season, students conducted research, created presentations and worked as gracious professionals with other teams. Mentors, typically a teacher or parent, guided and offered support to teams throughout the season. The season culminates by competing in regional, state, and world competitions. Awards were given to teams based on robot performance, robot design, teamwork skills, and presentation of project research.

Winners in programming and mechanical design were Joshua Academy and Audubon Elementary. Project and presentation award winners were Chrisney Elementary, Country Heights Elementary (the Technology Twisters and CHES Lego Lightning) and Niagara Elementary. Core Values winner was Lincoln Trail Elementary. The Gracious Professionalism award, which embodies the core of the FLL experience, went to the East View Elementary Ray-Bots. The overall Champions Award of all categories went to HCPL3, a team representing the Henderson County Library. Four teams from the Owensboro Regional FLL Tournament will advance to the state championship in Bowling Green on Jan. 25: HCPL3, Audubon Elementary, South Middle School Bulldogs, and Owensboro Catholic Middle.

The Owensboro Regional FLL Competition has been sponsored by OCTC for 6 years in conjunction with community partners Domtar and Time Warner Cable. In fall 2011, OCTC received a National Science Foundation grant focused on promoting and implementing STEM initiatives (such as FIRST robotics programming) with underrepresented groups across the state of Kentucky. Underrepresented groups in STEM fields include females, minorities, disabled students, low-income and first-generation college students. Eligible teams seeking funding would have a majority of students who represent at least one of the aforementioned demographics. Since the implementation of this grant, more than 750 students across the state of Kentucky have been exposed to STEM education through summer academies, Discover STEM clubs, and FIRST competitions.

If your child or school would like to get involved, contact Owensboro Regional FIRST Lego League Tournament Director Jessica Cecil at Jessica.cecil@kctcs.edu .