University News

Western New England University Welcomes FIRST Lego League Competitors as They "Shape the City of the Future"

Published: February 05, 2020 | Categories: All News, Engineering
Competition table with robots and bridges

Western New England University recently hosted its second annual Agawam Qualifier for the FIRST® Lego League (FLL), with 27 teams competing to advance to the District Finals. The teams represented grade schools and junior high schools from western Massachusetts and Connecticut. FLL is related to the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) for high school students.

FIRST® LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers through the release of a challenge. This year competitors (teams of up to 10 children and two adult coaches) were asked to respond to a three-part challenge on a real-world scientific topic. In this year’s CITY SHAPER CHALLENGE, competitors were asked: "What if you could build a better world? Where would you begin?"

During the CITY SHAPER season, teams choose and solve a real-world problem in the Innovation Project. Each team is tasked with building, testing, and programing an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams operated under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®.

Cosponsored by Agawam Robotics Education Association, Inc., the event attracted more than 500 visitors to campus thanks to the efforts of numerous campus offices and members of the College of Engineering community, including Dr. Christian Salmon, chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management and director of the Center for Global Health Engineering, Dr. David Greenslade, and student volunteers from the FIRST® Robotics Club lead by Industrial Engineering major Ashley Smith. Members of TEAM HUGE Battlebots® competitors Jonathan Schultz and Peter Lombardo were also on hand to meet with the team members. Winners moved on to the state championship the following week.

Western New England University will be hosting its second annual FRC event on March 22 and 23, 2020. The University offers a $1,000 scholarship to first-year students who have participated in the FIRST® Robotics program.