Regional Robotics Tournament at NMU


NMU will host "Lake Superior Odyssey," a regional robotics competition, at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Berry Events Center. More than 250 students from across the Upper Peninsula will participate.


The Mathematics and Computer Science Department will sponsor a team comprised of Bothwell Middle School students and coached by NMU education majors Mark Henrion, Andrew Bausach and Susan Syriawhich. Dave Buhl (Mathematics and Computer Science) will serve as the team’s mentor. Other sponsors include the Seaborg Center, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies.  


The competition is affiliated with First Lego League International (FLL), a program for 9-to-14-year olds that combines hands-on, interactive robotics with a sports-like atmosphere. The goal is to promote team building, problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. FLL issues a challenge every September, each with a new theme and tasks. Teams of up to 10 players have a maximum of eight weeks to strategize, design, build, program, test and refine a fully autonomous robot capable of completing various missions using Lego Mindstorms® technology. This year’s theme is “Oceanic Research.” Students must program their robots to perform such missions as deploying a submarine and releasing a captured dolphin.


Twenty-nine teams are signed up for the competition. The one that turns in the best robotics performance will advance to the state tournament at the Novi Expo Center. Teams are judged based on their robot- building and programming skills, teamwork, and a research project based on an FLL assignment relating to a problem or opportunity facing our oceans today. Seven additional teams will advance to the state tournament based on their total score for all categories.


The public is invited to watch the competition free of charge.


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Updated: November 10, 2005

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