Roger williams University hosting hundreds of local students in Lego robotics
tournament this weekend

Each member of winning team in FIRST LEGO League tournament will receive $20,000 in
scholarships to attend RWU

BRISTOL, R.I., January 11, 2016 - Roger Williams University will host nearly 500
elementary and middle school students from across Rhode Island in a LEGO robotics
tournament on Saturday, Jan. 14.
Each member of the winning team will receive a RWU scholarship worth $5,000 per year
for four years. So with teams of up to 10 members, the winners will receive up to
$200,000 in scholarships.
The FIRST(r) LEGO(r) League Animal Allies Championship Tournament will run from 11
a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the RWU field house. While 81 teams started the season,
40 teams advanced through the qualifying tournament system to this weekend's state
championship. The robot game portion of the FIRST LEGO League state championship is
free and open to the public.
FIRST LEGO League is a hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and math
(STEAM) enrichment program that combines the excitement of robotics with a research
project that encourages scientific literacy. In Rhode Island, FIRST LEGO League is
managed by Rhode Island Students of the Future, a nonprofit organization whose
mission is to promote STEAM engagement through youth robotics.

"Children need opportunities to make things and work through why it works or why it
doesn't," said Rebekah Gendron, president of the Rhode Island Students of the Future
board of directors. "FIRST LEGO League fosters persistence and problem solving
skills, which serve the students well as they move through their education and into
RWU President Donald J. Farish said, "Roger Williams University is dedicated to
building the university the world needs now, and the world needs sharp, young minds
focused on areas such as robotics and engineering. This FIRST LEGO League event
engages students in those areas in a fun and fascinating way, and offering
scholarships and support to the Rhode Island FIRST LEGO League provides a renewable
investment that benefits our greater community."
The teams have been meeting since September to build and program an autonomous LEGO
EV3 robot that navigates across a playing field and scores points for completing
various tasks. The teams also developed an innovative solution after defining
research questions relating to the Animal Allies theme, which focused on improving
the relationship between animals and humans.
At the action-packed tournament, teams compete in two-and-a-half minute matches to
earn as many points as possible on the playing field, which is made entirely of LEGO
elements. In morning judging sessions, each team presents their Animal Allies
research project and innovative solution to professionals from the community.
Teams, comprised of up to 10 students ages 9-14, vie for awards in categories such
as Robot Design, Robot Strategy, Research Quality, and Teamwork. The team earning a
strong evaluation across all judging categories and in the robot game wins the
coveted Champion's Award and is eligible to compete in the FIRST World Festival, an
event held in April 2017 that brings together teams from 80 countries to celebrate
the spirit of friendly competition and collaboration.