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IU Northwest hosts free workshop for FIRST Lego League coaches Sept. 22

FIRST Lego League Workshop


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

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FIRST Lego League

IU Northwest FIRST Lego League Qualifying Tournament

Indiana University Northwest will host a free workshop for individuals interested in coaching a FIRST Lego League (FLL) Team. The workshop is set for 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22 in the John W. Anderson Library Conference Center.

FIRST Lego League is an international competition in which teams of elementary and middle school students work as a team to program a NXT Lego robot. The two-part challenge is based on a real-world topic. 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 and developing a solution to a problem they have identified.

At the upcoming workshop, attendees will learn information specific to this year's challenge: Food Factor. Kitty Bellis, former Indiana Championship team coach will be the guest speaker.

Coaches will gain practice programming the robots and learn coaching skills, including how to help the students work together as a team, and how to teach kids about winning and losing graciously.

Past FLL challenges have had students exploring such topics as nanotechnology, climate, quality of life for the handicapped population, and transportation.

"By designing our challenges around such topics," the FIRST Lego League Web site stated, "participants are exposed to potential career paths within a chosen challenge topic, in addition to solidifying the STEM principles that naturally come from participating in a robotics program."

IU Northwest will be a host site for a FIRST Lego League Team qualifying tournament on Sunday, Nov. 20, which precedes the championship in Fort Wayne, Ind. in December.

Chemistry lecturer Linda Wozniewski and Assistant Professor Dana Dodson, Ph.D. are co-directors of the qualifying tournament at IU Northwest.

Attendees should bring food to the workshop, if desired, as well as a laptop computer and a NXT Robot, if they have one.

To register, or for more information, contact Wozniewski at (219) 980-6637 or