Montana State University

Robots, student creators to converge on Bozeman April 8

March 31, 2006 -- From MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- More than 200 students from all over the state will be in Bozeman Saturday, April 8, to compete in Montana's first-ever FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League Tournament.

Twenty-four teams of students ages 9 to 14 made robots out of Legos and will pit their robots against each other at the Sacajawea Middle School gymnasium, said Donna Minton, deputy director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium based at Montana State University.

The Lego League Tournament will begin with closed sessions where MSU faculty ask the students how and why they built and programmed their robots to solve certain challenges. The teams will then compete against the clock and each other to earn as many points as they can in 2.5 minutes. Ceremonies and competition rounds are open to the public. No admission will be charged.

One of the highlights will be Round 3 of the competition and a demonstration by the Darby and Simms High School FIRST robotics teams, Minton said.

The competition schedule is:

8:30 a.m. -- Registration.
9 a.m. to noon -- Judging (These are closed sessions).
11:10 to 11:40 a.m. -- Practice rounds.
12:15 p.m. -- Opening ceremony.
12:45 p.m. -- Round 1 competition.
1:15 p.m. -- Intermission (MSU ECE Bot Robotics demonstration).
1:35 p.m. -- Round 2 competition.
2:05 p.m. -- Intermission (Segway demonstration).
2:25 p.m. -- Round 3 competition.
2:55 p.m. -- Intermission (Demonstration by the Darby and Simms High School FIRST robotics teams, just back from competitions in California).
3:30 p.m. -- Closing ceremony.

This event is being held by the Montana Space Grant Consortium based at MSU, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the MSU College of Engineering. For more information, contact Minton at (406) 994-6172 or