Teams have been working for months to build LEGO robots. The FIRST LEGO League State Championship and the Junior FIRST LEGO League State “Show Off” is being held at Clemson University Saturday, March 6. Eighty teams from around the state – more than 800 students, ages 9 to 14, will come to Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum to compete for the state title and a trip to the World Festival tournament in Atlanta.
Chris Minor, senior lecturer in biological sciences at Clemson volunteers to coordinate the FIRST LEGO League State Championship. “The kids have been working since September to build autonomous robots,” said Minor. “They design them, they program them, and they run a series of missions on a four-by-eight playing field, and they try to accomplish as many missions as they can in two and a half minutes.”Not only does the competition teach kids about science, engineering and technology, it also teaches teamwork and sportsmanship. There are over 200 teams in the state of South Carolina, and the top 80 teams will be participating in the competition at Clemson.
“We have several community-base teams,” said Minor. “We have several home-schooled base teams, and of course, lots and lots of school-based teams. Most schools treat it as an after school extra-curricular activity. A handful of schools use it as part of their science curriculum, but the majority of the teams are extra-curricular.”
“That means that there’s 2,000 kids out there that are getting really excited about science, technology and engineering and the possibility for what the future holds.
Teams were tasked with creating LEGO models with moving parts based on the “Smart Move” theme. The students also conducted research on transportation and made posters of their findings.