North Texas Students and Their Robots Transform the Way We Look at Transportation in Second Annual FIRST LEGO® League Tournament

Share Article

Organized by Museum of Nature & Science, tournament inspires young people to solve real-world problems with science and technology; winning team to compete in world championship in Atlanta.

Sixty teams of students from local elementary and middle schools will match robots they’ve built and try to impress judges with their research about transportation safety for a chance to compete in an international event. The Museum of Nature & Science organized its second-annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) North Texas Regional Tournament, a free event Jan. 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hockaday School in Dallas.

The teams of young people built and programmed a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to explore a challenging topic facing engineers today – how people, animals, information and things safely travel. They have spent two months investigating various modes of people transportation from bicycles and skateboards to cars, and trains, as well as information, ideas and things transportation in order to determine the safety challenges inherent with each form of “Smart Move” today and how it might be made safer.

About 450 students and coaches on 60 teams were challenged to create solutions to current "movement" problems and present their research and results to the judges. The winning team will represent North Texas at the FLL World Festival at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 14-17, 2010.

"FIRST LEGO League is an exciting and fun global robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, technology and problem-solving in kids ages 9 to 14,” said Steve Hinkley, director of education for MNS. "We are delighted by the overwhelming response from North Texas teams this year and hope to draw even more teams for next year’s challenge. Many of our educational programs during our spring and summer Camps, Engineer’s Week, Tech Fest and Discovery Days include building and using robots."

ExxonMobil, Greater Texas Foundation, Lockheed Martin, and Rockwall Collins are sponsors of this "sporting event for the mind," which is a program of the nonprofit For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

This year’s event is hosted by the Hockaday School at 11600 Welch Road, Dallas, Texas 75229 from 8a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 23. Admission is free. Additional information can be found by calling: 214-428-5555, ext. 8, or by visiting: or

About the Museum of Nature & Science:
The Museum of Nature & Science, formerly the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children’s Museum, is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas’ Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, MNS delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition and research and collections programming for students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The MNS campus includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The museum is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and Hewlett-Packard. To learn more visit

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 not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST and the “Smart Move” Challenge go to

About the LEGO Group:
LEGO Systems Inc. (LSI) is the Americas (North America and Latin America) division of The LEGO Group, a privately-held firm based in Billund, Denmark. The LEGO Group is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities through high-quality, creatively educational play materials, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough." For more information, visit

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group. ©2008 The LEGO Group.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cynthia Stine

Email >
Visit website