‘Learning Unleashed’

FLL Robotics events return starting this weekend

Families and robot lovers of all ages are invited to watch the fun at the Columbia Gorge First Lego League (FLL) Tournaments in December. These free events will be held from 9 a.m. to around 3 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 7 at The Dalles Middle School (1100 E. 12th St.) and Dec. 15 at Wy’east Middle School (3000 Wy’east Road near Odell). These tournaments are local qualifiers for the international FLL robotics competition for kids ages 9 to 14. Winners will travel to the state tournaments in Hillsboro on Jan. 17 and 18, 2015.

These events are held locally by the Gorge Technology Alliance (GTA) with support from Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program, North Wasco County School District 21, Hood River County School District, Hood River County Education Foundation and White Salmon Valley Education Foundation. Local event sponsors include Platinum Sponsors Boeing, Cardinal Glass, Google and Hood Tech and Gold Sponsor Insitu. Google also provides significant funding to support the Columbia Gorge robotics teams through Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program.

“This is our fifth year hosting these tournaments and we’re excited to watch our 49 teams from around the Gorge show off what they’ve been working on over the last few months,” said GTA Executive Director Jessica Metta, who acts as the Tournament Director for the events. Teams will be traveling from Dufur, Glenwood, Goldendale, Grass Valley, Hood River, Klickitat, Mosier, Skamania, The Dalles, Trout Lake and White Salmon.

In FLL competitions, teams use off-the-shelf LEGO robotics kits to construct working robots which compete on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field. Each year, FLL defines a challenge that drives team activities. In this fall’s challenge, “World Class: Learning Unleashed,” students have been working to redesign how we gather knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Each team participates in several rounds of judging including robot design and programming, teamwork, completion of the natural disaster research and of course –the robot battle on the playing field. For more information, visit gorgerobotics.org.

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