Grandville High School to Host Largest Regional Lego League Robotics Tournament on Saturday, Nov 19

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A record 44 teams of middle and elementary school students will compete next Saturday in the largest FIRST Lego League tournament ever held in West Michigan. Teams will compete with autonomous robots they have built to score points on a themed playing field. They will also present innovative solutions they have developed to solve a real-world problem related to food contamination or spoilage.

Lego League Tournament

Lego League

Grandville Public Schools and the Grandville Academic Team Boosters will host their annual Lego League Regional Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, November 19 at Grandville High School (4700 Canal, Grandville). The event will start at 9am, with robot competition and judging taking place through 3:00pm. The awards ceremony will take place at 3:15pm.

This will be the sixth straight year that Grandville will host the regional event. This tournament has been moved to Grandville High School in order to accommodate the largest field of teams ever assembled in West Michigan. Forty-four teams will travel from across Michigan and Indiana to compete for the right to advance to the Michigan State Tournament in December. Teams will bring student-built robots to compete on the “Food Factor” playing field. Their robots and programming will be reviewed by technical judges. Teams will make research presentations, sharing the results of their research into a cause of food spoilage or contamination and their solution to that problem. Teams will also compete in challenges designed to test their teamwork.

Lego League introduces elementary and middle school students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Lego League teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society. Lego League team members get to:

  •     Design, build and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology
  •     Apply real-world math and science concepts
  •     Research challenges facing today’s scientists
  •     Learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills
  •     Participate in tournaments and celebrations

In the 2011 Food Factor Challenge, over 200,000 9-16 year olds from over 55 countries explore the topic of food safety and examine the possible points of contamination our food encounters – from exposure to insects and creatures, to unsterile processing and transportation, to unsanitary preparation and storage – then find ways to prevent or combat these contaminates. In the Food Factor Challenge, teams build, test, and program an autonomous robot using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT to solve a set of Food Safety missions as well as research, develop, and share their innovative food safety solutions.. For more complete information on this year’s Lego League Challenge, visit:


Grandville Public Schools has been a leader in educational robotics for more than 10 years. Beginning with one high school robotics team in 1998, the district’s program has now grown to include more than 30 teams. More than 500 students, from fourth through twelfth grades, participate on Grandville robotics teams, designing, building, and programming robotics for competitions around the world. Grandville has one of largest Lego League programs in the country, with the District fielding 17 teams this year. These students go on to compete in the District’s VEX Robotics program at the middle school level, as well as the FIRST Robotics competition and the Great American River Race at the high school level.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST 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 support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada), and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to To learn more about the “Food Factor™” Challenge, go to

Doug Hepfer, Grandville Academic Team Boosters


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