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Augustana Hosting Second Annual Lego League Scrimmage

SIOUX FALLS – Augustana is hosting the second annual Sioux Falls First Lego League scrimmage on Saturday, November 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Gilbert Science Center.

First Lego League is a national competition structure where middle school students (ages 9-14) design, build, and program an autonomous robot to earn points for accomplishing prescribed missions on a 4x8 playing field. They also give presentations on research projects where they have tackled a problem and propose a novel solution.

Participants must work as a team and be able to articulate what they did and how they accomplished it. The national organization calls it “Sport for the mind.”

“It is the best program I have seen to get kids interested in and excited about the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines,” says Dr. Dan Swets, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Augustana.

Dr. Swets is part of an organizing committee to get First Lego League started in South Dakota. A state tournament will be held at Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls on January 9, 2010.

The scrimmage on November 21 provides local teams an opportunity to prepare for the state event. To date, 15 teams have signed up for the scrimmage. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. Robot games and presentations begin at 10:45.