Teams solve real-world problems through robot design and research at the 17th annual Choctaw Tribal Schools FIRST LEGO  League Tournament, January 12, 2019.

More than 100 students from the Choctaw Tribal Schools have been tasked with the challenge and excitement of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST LEGO League program ( Saturday, January 12, 2019, in the Pearl River Elementary School gymnasium, eight weeks of research and design will culminate in the Choctaw Tribal Schools FIRST LEGO League Tournament where teams of children and mentors will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community. This action-packed event is free and open to the public.

In this year’s challenge, “INTO ORBIT”, FLL teams will explore what it takes to live on the space station or travel to another planet.

The competition is judged in five areas: research and presentation; robot performance; technical mechanics of the robot’s construction; teamwork; and gracious professionalism. The highest honor will go to the team that best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 9 to 14 year-old children created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company in 1998. Each September, FIRST LEGO League announces the annual Challenge to teams, which engages them in authentic scientific research and hands-on robotics design. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS technologies and LEGO bricks, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program robots to solve real-world challenges. After 8 intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments.

Since it’s beginning, FIRST has had a positive impact on students and academic communities. “We need to show kids that it’s more fun to design and create a video game than it is to play one,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST Founder. “In FIRST LEGO League, kids discover career possibilities and learn to make positive contributions to society.”