On Saturday, November 23, eighteen FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams from middle schools around central Connecticut will gather at Tolland High School to compete for bragging rights and a chance to participate in the Connecticut State FLL Championship. The 14th Annual East of the River FLL Tournament is sponsored each year by RAGE (Robotics And Gadget Engineering), a high school robotics team who participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). This year marks the first time being held at Tolland High School, having been located at Vernon Center Middle School and Rockville High School in past years.
The theme of this year’s FLL challenge is “Nature’s Fury.” Area FLL teams, composed of up to 10 middle school students, are tasked with building a robot out of LEGO and LEGO Mindstorms that will autonomously run “missions” on the competition table, a 4’ x 8’ table with markings and game pieces. Teams learn more about some of the extreme weather the world has been experiencing in recent years, and how to prepare and deal with it. Scenarios include hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and so forth.
Teams also research these weather phenomena and create a project and presentation to show how they might prepare for natural disasters. A panel of judges rates the team on numerous criteria and provides members with feedback.
The competition is free and open to the public. Opening ceremonies take place at 9:00 a.m., followed by a full day of table-top robotics matches and project presentations and judging. Awards should be complete by about 4:30. Tolland High School is located at 1 Eagle Hill, Tolland.
The state FLL Championship will take place on Saturday, December 7 at Central Connecticut State University.