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CSU to host annual Lego robotic contest

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Teams from 28 middle schools will converge on Clayton State University on Saturday to show Legos can be used to do more than build imaginary cities, castles or hotels.

The middle schoolers will show how they used Legos to study science by building working robots which can move themselves around, while also moving other things from one place to another. The university is hosting the Third Annual First Lego League Robotics Competition on Saturday, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m., in the school's James M. Baker University Center.

"It's really neat because you get to see all of these gizmos which perform tasks," said university spokesman John Shiffert. "The teams get really creative in their projects."

The youngsters had 10 weeks to build their Lego robots. At the competition, they will have two and a half minutes to analyze, research and solve a scientific problem, such as climate control, or revealing the links between science and people.

Judges review the presentation based on how well the team has addressed the league's core values: friendly sportsmanship, learning, community involvement, and contributions of others.

Other events involved in First Lego League competitions include students having to decorate their "pit," or "home base" area, and participating in technical interviews about robot design, according to the First Lego League's website. "FLL events are sporting events for the mind," the league states on its website, firstlegoleague.org.

The competition is free to attend, and the public is encouraged to watch it take place, according to Shiffert.

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On the net:

First Lego League:

http://firstlegoleague.org/