UND to host annual FIRST LEGO League Championship

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Engineering & Mines


Hundreds of area youth are expected to be on campus for the Feb. 6 event

Approximately 55 teams of 9 to 14-year olds from across the North Dakota and northwest Minnesota will gather in the University of North Dakota’s Memorial Union on Saturday, Feb. 6, to display their science, engineering and technology skills at the 13th Annual ND FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) Robotics Championship Tournament.

UND and the College of Engineering & Mines hosts the event with the help of UND student and community volunteers. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and competition will begin at 8:30 a.m., with an award ceremony at 3:30 p.m. The tournament is open to the public, with the main competition taking place in the Ballroom and smaller competitions taking place throughout the second floor of the Memorial Union and O’Kelly Hall on the UND campus.

The event is expected to attract as many as 700 people, including the youth participants, to campus, according to organizers.

This year’s challenge TRASH TREK focuses on trash disposal and management. Each team competing identified a problem with how a piece of trash is handled, developed an innovative solution and presented their solution to a professional. During the tournament, they will present their work to a judging panel as part of the competition. The second part of the competition is called the “Robot Game,” and requires teams to build, test and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology that will complete tasks related to what people do with things once they’re done using them.

Competition awards are given for robot mechanical design, programming, strategy and innovation and robot performance, in addition to awards that recognize teams’ research, innovative solutions, presentation and demonstration of the programs core values — inspiration, teamwork and Gracious Professionalism®. The Champion’s Award, the highest honor available, recognizes a team that fully embodies the programs core values in addition to excellence in both the presentation and robot competitions.

The 2016 N.D. FLL® competition is being sponsored by the UND College of Engineering & Mines, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Grand Forks Convention & Visitor Bureau, Retrax Holdings LLC, John Deere, Alerus Financial, OtterTail Power Company, Doosan Bobcat Company, Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc., HB Sound, Whalen Moving & Storage, Probitas Promotions and Advanced Engineering & Environmental Services Inc.

About FIRST®:

FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity. FIRST® is supported by a strong network of sponsors and volunteers. FIRST® provides the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) for students in grades 9-12 (ages 14-18), the FIRST® LEGO® League for grades 4-8 (ages 9-14) , and the Junior FIRST® LEGO League (Jr. FLL®) for grades K-3 (ages 6-9). For more information, visit www.usfirst.org.

About the LEGO® Group:

The LEGO Group, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high quality, creatively educational play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities, 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 . LEGO, MINDSTORMS® and their respective logos are registered trademarks of the LEGO Group. FIRST® and its logos are registered trademarks of US FIRST.