Long Island Children Apply Research and Robotics to Explore How Natural Disasters Occur during FIRST LEGO League Championship and Junior FLL Expo

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Long Island Children Apply Research and Robotics to Explore How Natural Disasters Occur during FIRST LEGO League Championship and Junior FLL Expo.

Kings Park, NY - February 26, 2014 - On Sunday, March 2, from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m., eight weeks of research and design will culminate in the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League (FLL) Long Island Championship Tournament, where 42 teams of children and coaches will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community. The Championship Tournament will take place at Longwood High School, located at 100 Longwood Road in Middle Island. The event is being sponsored by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) and the Longwood Central School District.
 
Four hundred middle-school children from Long Island will compete in this year’s Championship Tournament. On February 1-2, Qualifying Tournaments were held at Central Islip High School in which 110 teams competed for an opportunity to advance to the championship tournament.
 
This year’s challenge is NATURE’S FURYSM, where children in elementary and middle school will research and present their own creative solutions to one of the largest international issues — natural disasters — which have affected nearly three billion people globally since 2000. Children and their coaches will utilize robots to solve a set of natural disaster missions. Some will include positioning an evacuation sign, clearing an airplane’s runway of debris, and developing solutions that could be used in the future.
 
The FLL competition is judged in four areas: project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and teamwork, with a consideration of the FLL Core Values. The highest honor will go to the team that does well in all four areas and best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program.
 
The Championship Tournament will coincide with the Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL) Expo, which will take place at the same day and location from 9 a.m. to approximately noon. In the Junior FIRST LEGO League’s DISASTER BLASTERSM Challenge, children ages 6 to 9 will explore a natural disaster in-depth; research what it takes to prepare for, respond to or recover from that type of disaster; and learn about simple machines as they build a model made of LEGO elements with a motorized moving part and create a team Show-Me Poster to represent their findings.
 
Focused on building an interest in science and engineering, Junior FIRSTLEGOLeague is a hands-on program designed to capture young children’s inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them. Just like FLL, this program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the Jr. FLL Core Values, students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review. Each yearly Challenge has two parts: the LEGO Model and the Show-Me Poster. Working in teams of two to six children and guided by at least one adult coach, teams worked to complete the Challenge.
 
“The FIRST LEGO League and the Junior FIRST LEGO League give these young children a chance to garner an interest in science and engineering at an early age,” said Joani Madarash, Executive Director, SBPLI. “Judging by the 110 FLL teams at the Qualifying Tournaments and the 44 Jr. FLL teams at the Expo, the children on Long Island have a genuine interest in science, technology and engineering.”
 
For a list of the area schools and youth organizations with FLL teams participating in the “NATURE’S FURY” Challenge, see the attached page. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Sunday, March 9. For more information, visit www.sbpli.org.
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