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Robots readied for competition on road to FIRST LEGO League State Championship Tournament

266 teams of Arizona middle-school students will put 12 weeks of research, design and robot programming to the test in FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Regional Qualifying Tournaments leading up to the State Championship Tournament sponsored by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. See the tournaments website at

Saturday Dec. 3
Eight Regional Qualifying Tournaments at various locations statewide – including Flagstaff, Tucson, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler/Gilbert and Scottsdale. Tournament locations are listed here.

Saturday Dec. 10
State Championship Tournament at ASU Tempe campus in ASU Memorial Union Hall, Arizona Ballroom (second floor)

Arizona youngsters ages 9 to 14 are among the record 180,000 children around the world who are rising to the 2011 FLL Food Factor Challenge. Teams have been conducting research, and building and programming a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to learn how engineering plays a role in food safety efforts.

Teams will explore the topic of food safety and examine the possible points of contamination that our food encounters – from exposure to insects and other creatures, to unsterile processing and transportation, unsanitary preparation and storage – and then find ways to prevent or combat these contaminants.

Thirty Junior FLL teams (ages 6-9) will display LEGO models and “Show-Me” posters at the FLL State Championship Tournament. A FIRST Tech Challenge scrimmage for program participants in grades 9-12 will also take place at the Championship Tournament. The FLL season culminates with the FLL World Festival at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, April 25-28, 2012. Arizona’s state championship team will be invited to participate in the festival.


  • Custom-built robots come to life in fast-paced competitions
  • Hundreds of festively dressed young Arizona students and their coaches putting science and engineering skills to the test, rooted on by hundreds of friends and family members
  • Display of food safety research projects
  • Junior FLL competitors (ages 6-9) display LEGO creations and research project posters (State Tournament only)
  • FIRST Tech Challenge competitors (grades 9-12) demonstrate advanced robotics in action (State Tournament only)


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 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, visit


The LEGO Group is 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


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