FIRST LEGO League Holds Indiana State Championship

Robots Take Over IPFW at Indiana's Largest Tourney For Kids

By Michael Konopasek

December 11, 2010 Updated Dec 11, 2010 at 7:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Indiana's largest robotics tournament for kids was held at IPFW on Saturday. 48 student teams showed judges what their robots were made of at the Gates Sports Center on the university campus.

World-wide, there are more than 17,000 teams in more than 50 countries. 166 of those teams are in the Hoosier State.

It is called the FIRST LEGO League. It is a robotic competition that challenges students to become inventive in the fields of engineering and bio medicine.

Six Fort Wayne area teams, including Boy Scout Troop 300, Summit Middle School, two Carroll Middle School teams, the Huntington 4-H team, and Indian Springs Middle School, participated in the state championship.

The 48 teams in the tournament had one goal in mind -- to advance to the international tournament. The Hoosier teams had been working on the projects since September. The 2010 challenge required students to research biomedical engineering in order to build the robots.

The competition's goal is to prepare students to become future leaders in the in the field of engineering.

"We're trying to get kids excited about learning about engineering," said tournament director Carol Dostal. "Ultimately, our goal is to have them think about going into [engineering] careers ... Kids do better in school because they understand what they're doing in school and how it is related to the real world."

The program is intended for children 9 - 14 years of age, and it has been growing in popularity for the past 21 years.

Selected teams from the IPFW tournament will advance to the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, which is scheduled to take place in St. Louis this April.

State champions will be announced at a later time.

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