Maryville University will host a day of qualifying rounds for the St. Louis FIRST LEGO League Robotics from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22, in the Simon Athletic Center. The competition involves more than 250 elementary and middle students from various schools throughout the St. Louis region.
“These are not children just building a robot in someone’s basement,” says Maryville alumna Kathie Reuter, ’72, who is the Missouri state partner for FIRST LEGO League and the event manager. “In this program, students delve a lot further into research and innovation. We really push teamwork. Once you get into the real world, that’s an important skill.”
The public is invited to the event, but the best opportunities to see robots in action will be from approximately noon to 3 p.m., when teams guide their robots through the challenges of a pre-set obstacle course. Teams have worked on their robot creations for the past three months. Sixteen teams will progress to the state championship event held in January at Florissant Valley Community College.
During the FIRST LEGO League competition, teams of 9-to 14-year-olds design, build and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORM technology. Along with providing the opportunity to explore science and technology, the project helps students build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.