MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University 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. An awards ceremony for the winning teams will follow the competition at 2:30 p.m.

            This event 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.

            This event is sponsored by the following NMU entities: the Seaborg Center, the mathematics and computer science department, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Professional Studies. For more information, contact Dave Buhl at 227-2089.

Prepared By
Becky Kratz