150 Student Teams Compete in FIRST LEGO® League “No Limits” 2004 Challenge

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FIRST LEGO® League �No Limits�2004 Challenge introduces young people, ages 9 to 14, to the fun and excitement of science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

FIRST LEGO® League “No Limits”2004 Challenge introduces young people, ages 9 to 14, to the fun and excitement of science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.

150 Student Teams Compete in FIRST LEGO® League “No Limits” 2004 Challenge

150 Teams from five boroughs are preparing to compete in the 2005 New York City FIRST LEGO League (FLL) “No Limits” 2004 Challenge. Designed for middle schools, FIRST LEGO League uses the LEGO MindStorms System to provide accessible technological experiences for younger children. Each year, participating teams are provided a challenge based on a real-life problem.

“No Limits” Challenge, FLL teams will build and program robots that address the specific needs of people who face physical challenges in their everyday routines. Additionally, they will research and present robotics solutions to help individuals in their community perform activities of daily living that many people take for granted.

FLL students use the Internet and other resources to study challenge topics, make presentations of the results of their research, and test their robotic creations in a setting of friendly competition at local and state tournaments. More than 3,000 teams representing 30,000 kids took part in the 2003-2004 FIRST LEGO League Mission Mars Challenge at 82 local and 30 official state FLL Tournaments across the nation as well as events in Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.

Using the positive, engaging and motivational aspects of friendly competition, and using robotics as a vehicle, FLL create opportunities for students to experience the creative process of technology. Students participating in FLL work in teams, manage resources, solve problems, make decisions, assume leadership responsibilities, communicate ideas, and apply scientific and mathematical knowledge. FIRST teams engage in fund-raising, marketing, management, design and fabrication, communications, and celebration of success.

The excitement, fun, and engagement of FIRST activities help to create a culture of academic success in the classroom and throughout the school community. This cultural change often leads to a stronger emphasis on preparing young people for the world-of-work in a technologically driven economy and gives rise to new curriculum and instructional strategies reaching beyond the FIRST activities.

The “No Limits” Challenge asks students to explore how technology and innovative thinking can work together to create equal access for all people, regardless of their physical ability,” says Dean Kamen, world-renowned inventor and founder of FIRST. The Challenge also shows children that their robotics solutions, based in research and collective group work, can impact the real world in a positive manner.

Local practice tournaments in each borough are being held December 18th through January 22, 2005 preparing teams for participation in the 2005 New York City FIRST LEGO League Tournament, a citywide celebration at Riverbank State Park - Harlem, New York on February 5-6, 2005.

Upcoming Practice Tournaments:

·Nov. 20, 2004 Staten Island    Staten Island Technical High School

·Dec. 18, 2004    Brooklyn    Brooklyn Tech HS

·Jan. 15, 2005    Bronx        Fordham RETC

·Jan. 15, 2005    Queens        Jacob Riis Settlement

·Jan. 22, 2005    Manhattan    CCNY

More than 40,000 children in North America will participate in FLL this year. A recent study of FLL participants conducted by Brandeis University showed that:

·93% of children reported wanting to learn more about computers and robotics.

·88% of children reported wanting to learn more about science and technology.

·77% of children reported increased interest in having a job that uses science or technology when they are older.

As Dean Kamen believes in fostering interest in science and technology among young people, the LEGO Company “Believes that children who have a chance to express their creativity and explore their imaginations are the most successful learners in life.” Bringing those beliefs together makes FLL a powerful experience for participants…and for those who witness the results.

About FIRST

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the non-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students and the FIRST LEGO™ League for children 9-14 years old. To learn more about FIRST, go to http://www.usfirst.org

About New York City/New Jersey FIRST!

New York City/New Jersey FIRST! is a regional office of FIRST based at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) located in Newark, New Jersey. New York City/New Jersey FIRST! also maintains an office at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn. Located in the heart of the nation’s major metropolitan area, the mission of New York City/New Jersey FIRST! is to grow the FIRST celebration of young men and women working smart in science and technology in schools across the region with special emphasis on the participation of schools and students in under-resourced communities. FIRST is committed to the goal of increasing the participation of low-income and minority youth in the nation’s technological enterprise. For additional information: 973-596-3234.

Sponsors of the 2005 New York City FIRST LEGO League Tournament:

Con Edison

CMS Endowment Foundation

Verizon

Netherlands American Community Trust

SIAC

MEDIA CONTACT:

Phyllis M. Shelton

201-222-5390

phyllisshelton@success4u2.net

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