Invitation to become involved with the FIRST LEGO League in Saskatchewan in 2016 (Expired)

Dear All;

 

I am writing to tell about the exciting opportunity to bring FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to Saskatchewan.  They have a great (new) website:

http://www.firstinspires.org/

 

FIRST was founded by inventor Dean Kamen, “to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.”

 

FIRST offer robotics programs for ages 6-18.  This past week, I was lucky enough to see part of the high school level (FIRST Robotics Competition: FRC) regional tournament in Calgary where 2 teams from Saskatchewan (one from Swift Current and one from Moose Jaw) took part, joining teams from Alberta and BC, the United States, Mexico, Israel, and Australia.

 

You may remember Rick Mercer’s visit to an FRC event in Ontario:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/650346563680/

 

I am the FIRST LEGO League (the program for ages 9-14, or grades 4-8) partner for Saskatchewan.  Saskatchewan became an official partner last summer, and I am working to build on the interest here.  The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) will give them an experience of teamwork through problem-solving and designing, building, programming, and testing an autonomous robot using LEGO® WINDSTORMS® technology. It began in 1998. Now, each year it engages over 200,000 students in more than 70 countries in a challenge that involves 3 parts: a robot game, a project, and core values.

 

Here’s a great video introduction to the FLL (3m 33s):

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydLJKFi0vHA

 

A celebration of this year’s FIRST LEGO League season is planned for tomorrow, April 9 at the University of Regina.  You are welcome to attend.  For details, please see: https://www.facebook.com/events/380704225458138/

 

The FIRST LEGO League will also be on display at Science Rendezvous on May 7.

 

Teams may register for the next season, with the theme of Animal Allies, beginning May 10.  Here’s the official teaser for the challenge (that will be released on August 30): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2wJYe64coY

 

We didn’t have an official championship tournament this year, but we had many enthusiastic teams.  The tournament is really an important part of the experience for teams and it is very important to host a tournament for the next season (likely in January, 2017).  At a tournament, teams are judged for teamwork, project presentation, and robot design. Teams also compete with their robot in the robot game (where they to get as much done within a 2.5 minute round, with each team having multiple rounds to achieve their highest score), supervised and scored by referees.

 

For the FIRST LEGO League to be successful in Saskatchewan, volunteers are needed.  I hope that you will consider helping to establish the FIRST LEGO League in Saskatchewan.  There are many ways to help:

* coach or mentor a team

* be part of the group to organize or run FLL events in Saskatchewan

* join the regional planning committee for Saskatchewan: key roles  (amongst others) needing to be filled are:

 + Judge Advisor (who oversees judging in Saskatchewan)  + Head Referee (who oversees the Robot Game in Saskatchewan over the

   entire season)

 + Volunteer Coordinator (who works with me to recruit and train volunteers

   for Saskatchewan and coordinates the volunteers during the Championship Tournament

   [the only tournament in Saskatchewan for now])

 

You can find some more details online at:

http://www.cs.uregina.ca/FutureStudents/K12/FLL/

 

A recent handout (in PDF) about the FIRST LEGO League in Saskatchewan can be found here:

http://www2.cs.uregina.ca/~hepting/projects/outreach/FLLSask-handout_2016apr07.pdf

 

The FIRST organization is internationally known and respected.

It is a great learning experience for kids: as they say, it is “the hardest fun you’ll ever have” - and it looks great on résumes.

It is also a great experience for volunteers!

 

Please send me an email if you are interested in becoming involved, or if you have any questions or concerns.  If you know someone who might be interested, please pass along this email.

 

All the best,

Daryl

--

Daryl H. Hepting, Ph.D.

Associate Professor 

Department of Computer Science 

University of Regina

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A2

dhh@cs.uregina.ca 

http://www.cs.uregina.ca/~hepting

tel: (306) 585-5210 

fax: (306) 585-4745


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