Lego league season to kick off Saturday

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2008

JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council invites For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League teams, coaches and supporters to kick-off this year's season from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the Juneau-Douglas High School commons. The event, which will include hands-on activities led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Alaska Southeast, marks the start of eight weeks of hard work and intense fun.

The 2008-09 teams include Auke Bay Elementary School, Glacier Valley Elementary School, Mendenhall River Elementary School, Harborview Elementary School, Riverbend Elementary School, Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School, Floyd Dryden Middle School, IDEA Homeschool, the Skagway School District and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hoonah and Juneau.

FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs that build science and technology skills along with self-confidence, leadership and life skills. The FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 9- to 14-year-olds created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS technologies and LEGO play materials, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program robots to solve real-world challenges.

This year, students will tackle real-world problems posed by climate. The project has three important components: research the problem, create a solution and then share that solution. Teams of 3-10 kids will research how climate affects their community by identifying a specific problem it poses in their area, analyze data related to the problem and discover what the community is already doing about it.

The 2008 FIRST LEGO League tournament will be held Nov. 23, at Centennial Hall. JEDC is actively seeking volunteers and sponsors for the event. Visit or contact Becca Parks at or 523-2334 for more information. Both the kick-off party and the tournament are open to the public and free of charge. Spectators are encouraged to attend and support all of our teams.

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