FIRST Lego League and ORTOP Tackles Trash at this Year's Tournament
FIRST LEGO League is an international program available to kids ages 9-14 years old, typically in 4th-8th grade.
Working as teams, they are given a new real world problem to investigate and solve. For this year’s challenge, they are investigating the problem of trash and creating an innovative solution that can help improve or replace existing solutions.
In Oregon, this program is run by Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program a local non-profit organization. Last year, approximately 3,500 young people participated on over 460 teams.
In December, all of the teams will compete at a local Qualifying Tournament. About 30% of the teams will advance to the next level of competition called the Championship Tournament. There are two Championship Tournaments in Oregon so that 120 teams of kids will get the opportunity to participate and share their ideas at a higher level. These will happen on January 9 & 10 at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.
All of the events are free and the public is welcome to attend.
How Can You Get Involved?
As part of the challenge, teams are required to share their idea with someone who can provide them feedback and ideally help them make their idea a reality.
Industry experts are needed to serve as judges who will listen to the project presentations, evaluate the kids' teamwork skills, or examine the engineering and programming techniques they use on their LEGO robot. Volunteers can also assist at local events to help get kids to the right places, serve as referees at the competition table, and other roles. These tournaments are the culmination of the kids' year and extremely rewarding for volunteers.
You can also sponsor an Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program local events, or teams. ORTOP is non-profit that works hard to keep the cost of participating as low as possible for all teams, and to provide financial and training support for teams especially those in underserved population, minority groups, or who are actively attracting girls to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
If you are interested in mentoring, volunteering, or sponsoring, please contact: Loridee Wetzel, FIRST LEGO League Program Manager and Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program