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UMaine-Hosted Robotics Tournament at Orono High School Sunday

Contact: Media contacts: Tom Bickford, Agent Institute, 207-581-2012; Joe Carr, UMaine Public Affairs, 207-581-3571

ORONO- On Dec. 7, the University of Maine and the Agent Institute will host the 4th FIRST LEGO League’s robotics fair and tournament competition. This event, which will be held at Orono High School, is the season finale for 54 teams of children ages nine to 14 from across Maine. The youngsters have been working for several months building and programming LEGO robots to solve problems.

The theme for this year is Mars.  Student teams have chosen from one of nine “missions” related to the red planet.

The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) was started by the FIRST Foundation, an educational group based in New Hampshire, utilizing the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robotics Invention System. Teams are responsible for planning, building, programming, and testing their robots to complete the challenge course.

In 1998, the first year for this age group, 200 teams competed nationwide.   This year over 4,000 teams from almost every state are participating. This program fosters interest and excitement in computer, science, and engineering fields while providing a forum for learning about the scientific process.

Doors will open on Sunday at Orono High School at 8 a.m.  The tournament kick-off is set for 9 a.m., with competition expected to conclude by 3 p.m.

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