Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  November, 2007  >  November 5, 2007  >  Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha FIRST LEGO® League Teams to Compete in “Power Puzzle” Challenge at Creighton University
Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha FIRST LEGO® League Teams to Compete in “Power Puzzle” Challenge at Creighton University

Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha FIRST LEGO® League Teams Go “Green” with 2007 “Power Puzzle” Challenge at Creighton University

Teams provide real-world energy choice and sustainability solutions through robot design and research at FIRST LEGO League Omaha Power Puzzle Challenge.

On Friday, Nov. 9 at Creighton University, youth from all over the metropolitan area will compete in the Omaha Power Puzzle Challenge. The tournament will be held on Creighton University’s campus in Rigge Science Hall Room 120 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..

This year’s challenge is sponsored by AIM Institute, a not-for-profit membership organization that provides information technology leadership to Nebraska and the surrounding region.

Creighton Service Learning students and Club staff have spent weeks coaching 9 to 14 year old boys and girls of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha LEGO Robotics teams in preparation for the tournament season. At the tournament, team members will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community. Club alumni, local university, nonprofit and corporate science and technology professionals will serve as a tournament judges and referees. The tournament is open to all LEGO robotics teams in the metropolitan Omaha area. Registration for the tournament is available online at www.bgcomaha.org.

This year’s Challenge, “Power Puzzle” calls for teams to use robotics to understand and create solutions for one of today’s most critical environmental issues: energy management and conservation. With missions exploring solar panels on houses, hydro-dams, wind turbines and planting trees, teams will have to program their robots to find sustainable options to meet our planet’s growing energy needs in environmentally sound ways.

The competition is judged in five areas: research and presentation; robot performance; technical mechanics of the robot’s construction; teamwork; and gracious professionalism. The highest honor will go to the team that best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program. Certificates and trophies will be awarded.

“Our members love LEGO Robotics and being coached by the Creighton Service Learning students. We are excited about the tournament at Creighton University because our members get to show-off their science, technology and teamwork skills,” said CEO and President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha, Fred Schott.

FIRST collaborated with the Gulf Coast Combined Heat and Power Application Center, the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina and the Second Hill Group, an independent consultant that specializes in issues including energy, environment and green design, to create a theme and Challenge missions that are reflective of today’s real-world issues.

“The environment is a huge concern for everyone, including kids,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder. "Giving them a hands-on experience that allows them to use their imaginations and creativity in combination with science and technology to solve a real-world problem is empowering. It captures the true spirit of FIRST LEGO League and unleashes the creative problem-solving skills today’s kids need for building a better tomorrow."

Tournament admission is free. Tournament registration for competing teams is at least one canned food item per team member. The Creighton Service Learning students are collecting food for the Omaha Food Bank. All non-perishable food donations upon entrance to the tournament are appreciated.

ABOUT Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha: Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha have played an integral role in the Metro Community for over 45 years, providing daily programs and services to over 7,700 members each year. Club facilities in North Omaha, South Omaha, Westside and Carter Lake are open every day after school and evenings with programs that emphasize character and leadership development, the arts, health and life skills, education and career enhancement and sports, fitness and recreation. College graduates, many from the communities served, are trained by the Clubs as youth development professionals and charged with carrying out the mission of “inspiring all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, healthy and caring citizens.” To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Omaha and the Omaha Power Puzzle Challenge tournament, visit www.bgcomaha.org.

ABOUT The AIM Institute: The AIM Institute is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit workforce development consortium of local, state and regional businesses, area colleges and universities, secondary school districts, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and the State of Nebraska. Founded in 1992 to provide information technology leadership to Nebraska and the Midwest region, AIM serves as a catalyst for facilitating the changes and improvements necessary to meet the technology-related needs of area businesses and their employees. Visit AIM on the web at www.aiminstitute.org

ABOUT FIRST: Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to
www.usfirst.org. To learn more about the “Power Puzzle” Challenge, go to www.firstlegoleague.org.