Cara Halstead Cea, Office of Public Information, Pace University, 914-906-9680, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Bernice Houle, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University, 914-773-3592, email@example.com
Kids, robots, space elevators and pizza molecules featured in tournament this weekend
PACE UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES IN WESTCHESTER (PLEASANTVILLE)
AND MAHNATTAN TO HOST 48 TEAMS FROM NEW YORK AND CONNECTICUT SCHOOLS IN “FIRST LEGO LEAGUE” ROBOTICS TOURNAMENTS, SAT. AND SUN., FEB. 11 & 12
6-9 year olds in New York City to participate for the first time in“Junior FIRST LEGO League” Expo
NEW YORK CITY AND PLEASANTVILLE, NY, February 9, 2007 – Some of the students wrangling simulated “molecules” with colorful robots made from LEGO pieces this weekend will be as young as six years old.
They and others will demonstrate robots that manipulate atoms and molecules to do such things as build elevators to outer space with high-strength carbon tubes and centrifugal force, cure diseases with devices that travel through the body, create clothes that never get dirty and arrange the molecules that create the smell of pizza.
Hundreds of students aged six to 14 and from close to 50 schools will flock to Pace University’s campuses in Pleasantville and Manhattan as the University’s Ivan G. Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems hosts tournaments in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), created nine years ago through a partnership between LEGO Company and Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, to encourage interest in science. FIRST is an acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.
Media admission is by press pass for all events.
The events are open to the public free. They are run entirely by more than 150 volunteers, including Pace students, staff and faculty. Pace students referee; judges are from major corporations in the area including IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, Apple Inc., and Evionyx. This is the fourth year Pace has sponsored a New York State Championship Tournament, the winner of which goes on to the World Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia in April.
In addition to their demonstrations, FLL Teams will show off their own research and ideas for applications of nanotechnology to improve lives. They will be judged on their missions, on robot design and programming, a 10-minute research presentation, and demonstrated teamwork.
In addition to helping at the tournaments, each semester Pace students in the Seidenberg School’s course in LEGO robotics learn to assemble and program LEGO robots and then teach in local schools. During the fall semester in New York City, Pace students worked with students from PS 188 in the Lower East Side. In Westchester, Pace students worked with White Plains Middle School, Good Council Academy, and Elmsford Middle School.
Scientists of the future. In both locations, tournaments for 6-9 year olds build on the increasing sophistication young children have about technology.
Last year at Pace’s Westchester campus, the Seidenberg School sponsored and managed the New York State pilot program for Junior FIRST LEGO League (JFLL) Expos, which began in the US three years ago. This year Pace is bringing the JFLL program to New York City for the first time, the only one taking place in the city.
Each year, the tournament has a different internationally announced challenge. This year it’s “Nano Quest,” simulating the hot scientific field of nanotechnology, where measurements range up to 100 nanometers—the size of only a few molecules. In the roles of visionaries and scientists, the FIRST LEGO League teams will explore amazing new technologies that will impact every facet of society, including medicine, computers and the environment.
Twenty-eight teams from New York and Connecticut will compete in the FLL and 20 teams will compete in the JFLL. At least one team is all girls, formed by the Girl Scout Council of Westchester/Putnam.
Saturday, February 10, 10:00-1:15
New York City Junior FIRST LEGO League Expo
Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY, Student Union, Level B
Eight pre-registered teams of 6-9 year olds from NYC
Sunday, February 11, 9:00-3:30
Lower Hudson FIRST LEGO League Tournament
Pace University Pleasantville Campus, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY, Goldstein Fitness Center, Entrance 3
Twenty-eight pre-registered teams of 9-14 year olds
Individual team judging is from 9:00am – 12:00pm. The best time to view the event is at noon when the Parade of Teams and Opening Ceremonies will take place in the Goldstein Fitness Center. The Robot Performance will take place at 1:20pm.
Lower Hudson Junior FIRST LEGO League Expo
Pace University Pleasantville Campus, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY, Entrance 3, Kessel Student Center, Gottesman Room
Twelve pre-registered teams of 6-9 year olds from Westchester County and the surrounding area will gather at Pace Pleasantville for the Second Annual JFLL Expo.
Towns and neighborhoods involved: 6-9 year olds: Participants in the New York City JFLL Expo are from Staten Island, Long Island City, Forest Hills, Levittown, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
Lower Hudson JFLL participants this year are from five cities in NY – Ardsley, Hastings-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, Levittown, Holmes, and three cities in CT – Stamford, Woodbury and Granby.
9-14 year olds: Teams competing in the Lower Hudson FLL Tournament are from: Ossining, Mount Kisco, Pleasantville, Yorktown Heights, Briarcliff Manor, Valhalla, Poughkeepsie, East Fishkill, Bedford, Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Yonkers, Lagrangeville, Thiells, White Plains, PS# 188 in New York City and Stamford, CT.
Additional informationIn 1998, the FIRST Organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway Human Transporter, teamed up with the LEGO Company to create FIRST LEGO League which now has 60,000 participants. For more information, visit: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/default.aspx?pid=21380# and http://www.usfirst.org/jrobtcs/flego.htm
For additional information on Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems visit http://csis.pace.edu.