East Tennessee State University will host the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League Tennessee State Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 2.
The free event will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome), beginning with an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. and concluding with an awards ceremony.
The tournament brings together teams of youths in grades 4 through 8 who will compete in the FIRST® LEGO® League HYDRO DYNAMICS Challenge with their student-designed and –programmed robots using LEGO MINDSTORM® EV3 technology. The teams will compete before judges in three unique categories: the Robot Game on the Mission Model field tables, Real World Challenge Project Research, and Core Values.
In 2014, the inaugural FIRST® LEGO® League initiative produced two competitive teams in the region. The local, innovative-thinking initiative began with seed funding from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and area manufacturers.
In three years, the program has grown to include 26 teams in the Johnson City qualifier, in addition to 13 other regional teams that will compete at other locations, including Kingsport, Knoxville, Tullahoma, Chattanooga and Abingdon, Virginia.
The state-level competition will be held at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville in February 2018.
The public is invited on Dec. 2 to watch robot performance competitions, see the teams’ real-world challenge project research posters and cheer on the students as they exhibit “Gracious Professionalism®” and “Coopertition®.”
“Gracious Professionalism®,” according to the FIRST® website firstinspires.org/robotics/fll, “encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.” “Coopertition®” is defined as “displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. (It) is founded on the … philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.”
Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, such as helping with registration, scheduling and monitoring practice tables, and others.
For more information on the event or volunteering, contact ETSU Director of Community Outreach and Economic Development Tish Oldham at 423-439-6968 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.