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Air Force Research Laboratory provides support to robot competition

Maj. Gen.William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, explains how important it is for students to pursue STEM-related careers during the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship Tournament held Feb. 4 at Wright State University. (U.S.Air Force photo/Marie Vanover)

Maj. Gen.William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, explains how important it is for students to pursue STEM-related careers during the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship Tournament held Feb. 4 at Wright State University. (U.S.Air Force photo/Marie Vanover)

Two participants from Beavercreek explain the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League Ohio Championship competition, held Feb. 4 at Wright State University, to Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marie Vanover)

Two participants from Beavercreek explain the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League Ohio Championship competition, held Feb. 4 at Wright State University, to Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center commander, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marie Vanover)

Students involved in the FIRST LEGO League competitions engaged with multiple senior leaders from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Feb. 4 at Wright State University, including Brig. Gen. Mark Koeniger,711th Human Performance Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marie Vanover)

Students involved in the FIRST LEGO League competitions engaged with multiple senior leaders from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Feb. 4 at Wright State University, including Brig. Gen. Mark Koeniger,711th Human Performance Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marie Vanover)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Approximately 14 teams from the Miami Valley joined 46 other teams from across Ohio at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) LEGO League Ohio Championship, held Feb. 4 at the Nutter Center at Wright State University.
The annual event brought together students 9 to 14 years old who demonstrated their engineering and problem-solving skills, critical thinking, teamwork, competitiveness, sportsmanship and sense of community.

The Air Force Research Laboratory, which hosts the event, has provided support since 2001. According to Daniel Andrews, Wright-Patterson K-12 STEM Outreach Lead, FIRST LEGO League is “a program that gets kids excited about STEM.”

This year’s theme was “Hydro Dynamics,” and the teams developed a presentation, participated in a teamwork activity and participated in a robot competition, Andrews added.

Three teams advanced from the FIRST LEGO League Ohio Championship and earned bids to compete at the World Festival in Detroit; two teams earned bids to compete at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and one team earned a bid to compete at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California.

The FIRST Robot Competition, a high school competition, will be March 2 at the Nutter Center and will feature 120-pound robots built by high school students, grades 9-12.

FIRST Robotics Competition is a high school age program combining the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology. AFRL will host 62 FRC teams at the Miami Valley Regional, with teams from nine states. Following the FRC, six teams will be invited to the World Championship in Detroit in April.

For a video shot during the competition, go to www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Video/videoid/583407/.