FLINT — Some 48 regional winners are headed to Flint this weekend for the Flint FIRST Lego League Championship games, which run all day Saturday, Dec. 10, at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School.

Doors open at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School Saturday at 7:15 a.m. for registration. Opening ceremonies are at 8:40 a.m., followed by a day’s worth of robotic and presentation contests. The awards ceremony is planned for approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Teams are coming from seven qualifying tournaments around Michigan: East Lansing, Flint, Grandville, Marquette, Saginaw, Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse City.

FIRST Lego League is an international competition for elementary and middle school students, ages 9 to 14.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire students in engineering and technology. Each year, the contest focuses on different real-world topics related to the sciences. Regional tournaments are held to allow the teams to compete in a fun and spirited environment.

This year’s theme is Food Factor. Students studied food contamination issues and developed an innovative solution to improve food safety. Awards are given for project presentations, the robot, and the core values.

Kettering University will host some of the Lego participants on Friday for a tour of the University’s labs and classrooms, said Bob Nichols, director of external relations at Kettering. Other Flint tour sites include GM’s Truck Assembly and Weld Tool Center and the Cultural Center.

“These Lego teams are from grades four through eight, but don’t let their ages deter you from appreciating their engineering promise,” Nichols said.  “These are Michigan’s Lego champions. The teams are well practiced, well coached and ready to compete for a chance to go to Lego’s international games in St. Louis next April.”

And, Nichols said, “It won’t be long before Michigan’s top universities will be clamoring to recruit these young scientific minds. Flint is lucky to have Bill and Carol Welch, who do a great job coordinating the state tournament that attracts so much technology talent to our hometown.”

For more on this year’s state championship game and LEGO League, visit: http://firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2011foodfactor


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