Pace University to Host FIRST LEGO League Tournament

The FIRST Organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway Human Transporter, has teamed up with the LEGO Company to create FIRST LEGO League. Pace University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) will host the FIRST LEGO League Tournament, an annual event that over the last six years has encouraged children to use their imagination, work with LEGOs, and learn about science and technology in a fun and exciting way.

Contact: Bill Caldwell, Office of Public Information, Pace University, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

MEDIA ADVISORY

January 26, 2004

PACE UNIVERSITY TO HOST FIRST
(FOR INSPIRATION AND RECOGNITION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY)
LEGO LEAGUE TOURNAMENT

This year’s challenge — Mission: Mars

WHAT: The FIRST Organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway Human Transporter, has teamed up with the LEGO Company to create FIRST LEGO League. Pace University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) will host the FIRST LEGO League Tournament, an annual event that over the last six years has encouraged children to use their imagination, work with LEGOs, and learn about science and technology in a fun and exciting way. This is the first time the tournament will be held in Westchester County and hosted by Pace University. Each year, there is a different internationally announced challenge for the tournament. This year’s challenge is Mission: Mars.

Teams of children, ages 9-14, from local schools, Girl Scout troops, and neighborhoods, have been presented with the task of designing a robotic device using LEGOs to explore and colonize a simulated, tabletop version of the Martian surface. In addition to the predetermined tournament missions that the robot will need to complete, the teams will be judged on robot design and programming, a 10-minute research presentation, and demonstrated teamwork.

WHO: Groups competing in the tournament include a team sponsored by the Westchester/Putnam Girl Scout Council, an all-girl team sponsored by MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) of White Plains Middle School, teams from other local schools (Greenburgh 7, St. Augustine’s in Ossining, St. Pius X in Scarsdale, Fox Lane Middle School) and a number of independent teams.

The tournament is run completely by volunteers, including CSIS students, staff and faculty, and members of the Westchester community. Teams of CSIS students have created a Web site to disseminate information about the tournament, have learned the Lego Mindstorms programming package and will staff an online help desk for teams and coaches during the event. CSIS students and recent graduates will serve as referees. Judges are from major corporations in the area, including IBM TJ Watson Research, Apple Computer, and Quintel Consulting.

WHEN: Sunday, February 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Opening ceremonies at noon.

WHERE: Pace University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Goldstein Fitness Center, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY

For more information or to volunteer, contact Bernice Houle, (914) 773-3492, bhoule@pace.edu .

Web sites:

FIRST Organization http://www.usfirst.org/jrobtcs/flego.htm
CSIS at Pace http://csis.pace.edu

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