- July 19, 2019
Morning dawned early for several students in Central Florida on Saturday, Jan. 18, as teams of elementary and middle school students and their parents streamed into Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange for the annual Lego Robofest event sponsored by FIRST organization.
Teams competed with robots made from Lego blocks and were programed to complete various tasks. Students competed in four categories: Games, judging, projects and core values.
There were 12 missions in the game category where students had two-and-a-half minutes to demonstrate various strategies to complete tasks. After game room competition, teams headed to the judging room where their robots were judged on creativity and design.
Projects that demonstrated the theme, “City Shaping,” were set up along tables for judges and the crowd to study. Students presented solutions for making their city a safer, greener and cleaner place to live.
As people milled around the waiting room, displays with topics related to the core values of FIRST, which stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," were dotted around the rooms.
Kevin Bongiovanni, a mentor for the “Bumble Bolts” robotics team from Eustis, said there were winners from each category plus an overall competition winner and a special judges award.
FIRST was created by Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway and Woody Flowers, and is a professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The competition has been going on annually for the past 15 years.