The First Lego League (FLL) season is kicking off already. FLL is a team engineering and science program for kids ages 9 to 14 that culminates in an international robotics tournament. The first competitions that local teams participate in are the Columbia Gorge FLL Qualifying Tournaments in December. This year’s theme is “Trash Trek,” with students working to explore the fascinating world of trash. From collection, to sorting, to smart production and reuse, there is more to your trash than meets the eye! FLL team registration is open now and will close likely mid-September - sign up as soon as possible!

Parents that are looking to get their students signed up for a team are encouraged to first ask if their school has a team. Coaches for new teams or teams receiving a scholarship are required to attend a free workshop in Hood River on Saturday, Sept 19, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30.p.m. at the Hood River OSU Extension Office (2990 Experiment Station Dr.)

The workshop covers an intro to FLL, coaching and mentoring techniques, basic robot programming and mechanical design techniques. Pre-registration is required. Learn more at

Planning for the Gorge’s FLL Qualifying Tournaments is also already in the works.

Tentative dates and locations are Dec. 5 at The Dalles Middle School and Dec. 12 and 13 at Wy’east Middle School in Hood River. These events are sponsored by Insitu and Google. Volunteers are needed! One-day or multi-day volunteer options are available in this fun way to give back to the community.

For more information about all of the above, visit or contact Jessica Metta at 541-296-2266. Gorge robotics activities, the website and the FLL Qualifying Tournaments are supported regionally by the Gorge Technology Alliance, a non-profit professional organization that seeks to support, connect and develop the technology community of the Gorge. Learn more at

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