RI teens to use robots, LEGOs to manage natural disaster scenario

NEWPORT, R.I. – Teens from across the state will test their engineering, science and creative skills by using robots and LEGOs to develop solutions to a natural disaster scenario during the “Nature’s Fury” FIRST LEGO League (FLL) state qualifying tournament hosted by Salve Regina University on Sunday, Dec. 8.

Competition will run from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at O’Hare Academic Center, Ochre Point Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.

Among about 20 teams entered will include students from All Saints Academy in Middletown, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Bristol, Middletown Public Schools, Jamestown Public Schools, North Kingstown School Department, Portsmouth Middle School, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School in Coventry, Kevin Coleman Elementary School in Woonsocket, Cumberland School Department, Westerly Middle School and Aquidneck Island Robotics 4-H Club will participate.

In the ‘Project’ phase, teams will select a community that could experience a natural disaster, identify a specific problem that happens when a natural disaster occurs and create an innovative solution to help people prepare, stay safe, or rebuild. At the end of the exercise, teams will share their problem and solution with others.

The ‘Robot’ phase will take place on a specifically designed table where teams will score points by using their robots to accomplish a variety of “missions” that arise in a community during the course of a natural disaster.

At the end of the competition, several awards will recognize teams for robotic design and performance, overall project approach and success, and exhibition of core values.

FIRST LEGO League Rhode Island and Robotics Park is managed by Rhode Island School of the Future, which serves about 500 students on 64 teams throughout the state. Teams design, build and program a robot to score points on a game field. They also complete a project that introduces them to different branches of STEM learning and careers.