Young Vermonters and their robots face off at competition Saturday

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 3:55 PM EST
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NORTHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Hundreds of elementary-aged engineers will face off at Norwich University Saturday for the return of the First Lego League Vermont State Championship.

There will be 32 teams of students in grades K-8 who will face off to see who has the best Lego robot presentation. Each team will have its own table and will show public spectators how their robots work. The robots are built to solve problems, especially problems surrounding energy in Vermont communities. Then, the teams will be judged as their robots undergo timed tasks. Winners are announced later in the afternoon.

FLL state coordinator Joseph Chase says the competitions come with long-term benefits for kids who participate. “For example, we have data for what happens for students as they move onward. Globally, about 50% of female first alumni end up declaring a major in computer science or engineering by their fourth year of college, and that is roughly three times higher than their peers,” Chase said.

While this Saturday is for younger students, high schoolers -- and their robots -- will face off on February 11 at CVU. Winners will have a chance to advance to the national level in Houston.