About 100 students representing 18 Knoxville area teams will compete in a regional LEGO tournament Saturday at Hardin Valley Academy, working with miniature robots that perform required tasks on a table.
Robertsville Middle School is the defending state champion. Under the new format this year, the team needs to qualify in this regional tournament before advancing to the state tournament.
“This year’s theme in ‘Nature’s Fury,’” said John Tilson, a Hardin Valley science teacher and Saturday’s tournament director. “The students have a lot of problems they need to solve. They design and build a predominantly LEGO robot. They perform a certain number of challenges and they get points for each challenge. They have to do certain rescues, and they have to move certain items from place to place.”
The competition embodies all aspects of STEM education, including science, technology, engineering, and math.
“The students have to develop an idea and move forward with a strategy,” Tilson added. “The idea this is problem-based solving and learning is a tremendous part of this program.”
Activity starts at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 3:30 p.m. Top teams from the Knoxville tournament advance to the state tournament Dec. 7 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.
December’s Tennessee FIRST LEGO Tournament is co-sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tennessee Tech.
UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.