|[August 27, 2013]
Inventor Dean Kamen Asks 230,000 Children Worldwide to Devise Innovative Solutions to Keep People and Property Safe Before, During, and After a Natural Disaster
MANCHESTER, N.H. --(Business Wire)--
In the 2013 FIRST®
LEGO® League (FLL®) season, children from
around the world are tackling an ambitious challenge: to research
natural disasters and propose solutions for what can be done when
intense natural events meet the places where people work, play, and
live. The largest FLL season to date will include 230,000 children, ages
9-16, in more than 80 countries.
"According to the United Nations, natural disasters have affected nearly
3 billion people worldwide and caused nearly $2 trillion USD in damage
since 2000," said President of DEKA Research & Development Corporation
and FIRST Founder, Dean Kamen. "Coming up with their own ideas to
prepare for, stay safe during, and rebuild after natural disasters
empowers kids to make a difference and to feel ready if they learn about
or face a natural disaster in the future."
This year's FLL "NATURE'S
FURYSM" Challenge calls for teams of 9- to 14-year-old
children (9 to 16 outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) to research and
present their own creative solutions to one of today's most relevant
topics: natural disasters. Teams will also build, test, and program an
autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT to
solve a set of natural disaster missions, such as positioning an
evacuation sign, clearing an airplane's runway of debris, and delivering
supplies. The cornerstones of the experience are the FLL
Core Values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly
competition, learning, and community involvement.
Each year in late summer, the FIRST LEGO League releases a
themed, three-part Challenge based on a real-world scientific topic
applied through a 'Robot Game,' a 'Project,' and a signature set of FIRST
LEGO League 'Core Values,' which are the overarching way in which the
Challenge is completed. Teams of up to 10 children, with one
adult Coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous
robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game) and
developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project). Past
Challenges have been based on topics such as biomedical engineering,
nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for handicapped and senior
populations, and transportation.
"FIRST LEGO League provides a fun and engaging experience for
children around the world to become innovators and creative problem
solvers on a very relevant and real topic," said Jacob Kragh, President,
LEGO Education. "Using a real-world issue to drive a process where
children are in control empowers them with a chance to take what they
learn and apply it to their own lives, not only during this challenge,
but also to their future adventures and endeavors."
For the "NATURE'S FURY" Challenge, FLL collaborated with organizations
such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross,
the National Weather Service, and other specialists to create a theme
and challenge missions that reflect real-world issues.
FLL is an international program for 9- to 14-year-old children (9 to 16
outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) created in a partnership between FIRST
and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and
technology - and teach them valuable career and life skills. Using LEGO
MINDSTORMS tecnologies and LEGO Education materials, children design,
build, and program autonomous robots and create an innovative solution
to a problem as part of their research project. After eight intense
weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like
tournaments. Like any other organized "sport," teams also fundraise,
create a team identity, and go on field trips. Adult coaches guide and
support the teams throughout the season, but the children do the work.
FIRST LEGO League is one of four programs within the Progression
of Programs at Dean
Kamen's not-for-profit organization, FIRST®
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Kamen
founded FIRST over 20 years ago to inspire young people's
interest and participation in science and technology. The organization
offers a progression of four international, after-school STEM (science,
technology, engineering, and math) programs for students in K-12.
More than 22,000 6- to 9-year-olds are expected to participate in the Junior
FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®)
BLASTERSM" Challenge this season. Since 2004, Jr.FLL has
captured young children's inherent curiosity and directed it toward
discovering the wonders of science and technology. Jr.FLL features a
real-world Challenge, 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.
Currently in its sixteenth year, FIRST LEGO League anticipates
its largest season ever, with approximately 23,000 teams in more than 80
countries competing in hundreds of Qualifying Tournaments and
Championship Tournaments. About 230,000 children will compete to win
honors and recognition. Teams will also have the opportunity to
participate at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, to be held
in conjunction with the FIRST Championship, April 23-26, 2014 at
the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
registration for the 2013 NATURE'S FURY season will be open until
all slots are filled in mid-to-late September.
Accomplished inventor Dean
Kamen founded FIRST®
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to
inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based
in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative
programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while
motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology,
and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies
and more than $16 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit
organization hosts the FIRST®
Robotics Competition (FRC®) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST®
Tech Challenge (FTC (News - Alert)®) for Grades 7-12; FIRST®
LEGO® League (FLL®) for Grades 4-8; and Junior
FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®)
for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing
things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of
others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST,
go to www.usfirst.org.
To learn more about the "NATURE'S FURY?" Challenge, go to www.FIRSTLEGOLeague.org.
ABOUT THE LEGO GROUP
The LEGO Group is a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark. The
LEGO Group is committed to the development of children's creative and
imaginative abilities through high-quality, creatively educational play
materials, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the
1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough."
For more information, visit www.LEGO.com.
FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST®
Robotics Competition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech
Challenge, FTC®, and Gracious Professionalism® are
registered trademarks of the United States Foundation for Inspiration
and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®).
LEGO® and MINDSTORMS® are registered trademarks of
the LEGO Group. FIRST® LEGO® League, FLL®,
Junior FIRST® LEGO® League, Jr.FLL®,
NATURE'S FURYSM, and DISASTER BLASTERSM are
jointly held trademarks of FIRST and the LEGO Group. ©2013 FIRST
and the LEGO Group. All rights reserved.
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