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Nov. 29 - Robotics Tournament Dec. 2


Byron Spice

Anne Watzman

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy
Hosts FIRST LEGO League Tournament, Dec. 2

Middle School Students To Flex Mental Muscle in Regional Robot Competition

EVENT: LEGO robots, designed and built by 70 teams of young roboticists between the ages of 9 and 14, will mix it up on a nano-themed game board at the FIRST LEGO League NanoQuest Challenge. Teams from western and central Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and West Virginia will put their problem-solving skills to the test in this regional event. Each 10-member team has spent eight weeks performing research and programming its own LEGO MINDSTORMS robot for the competition, which this year is exploring applications of nanotechnology.

The students are among a record 80,000 participating worldwide in the eighth annual competition, sponsored by the not-for-profit organization known as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Founded by famed inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST inspires young people's interest and participation in science and technology. In Pittsburgh, the FIRST competition is hosted by the Robotics Academy, an educational component of Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center.

Teams are judged in four areas: project presentation, robot performance, technical design and robot programming. The winner of this competition will have a chance to compete in the FIRST LEGO League World Festival April 12–14, 2007, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 2. Opening ceremonies are at 9 a.m., with teams competing from 9:30 a.m. until about 3 p.m. The awards presentation will take place at roughly 3:45 p.m.

WHERE: The National Robotics Engineering Center, Ten 40th St., at the Allegheny River in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh.

INFORMATION: For more information and results, contact Robin Shoop, director of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, at 412-681-7103 or To learn more about the Robotics Academy, see For more on FIRST, go to