U.T. Dallas to Host LEGO Robotics Competition

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will host and co-sponsor the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League International Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

North Texas area students aged 9-14 will compete in what is believed to be one of the nation's largest science competitions. The Dallas area contest is one of 30 such tournaments being held around the country. Winners will go to the national competition, to be held in Houston in April.

In the challenge, students are presented with a new challenge each year and have eight weeks to complete the task. The 2002 challenge, City Sights, explores the obstacles and restrictions that urban planners face in order to provide such basic services as housing, education and medical assistance to the inhabitants of a city. The goal is to help students work as teams and learn how to manage projects.

The technology used in the program is from LEGO MINDSTORMS. The students first build a robot using LEGO pieces and then create a program for their invention using RCX Code, a simple, powerful programming language. The creation then interacts with its environment, fully independent from the computer.

The tournament, which is co-sponsored by the Richardson Home School Association, will take place at UTD's Activity Center. For more information, visit the tournament's Web site at or call 972-883-2496.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].