Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Lego Mania Hits NYC" from NY 1

From NY 1
January 26, 2008

(Thanks to NY 1 for doing an amazing job in covering the tournament by doing reports from throughout the day. Look for follow-up updates on NY 1 and watch the video.)

Eighty teams of grade-school students fought it out in Riverbank State Park Saturday in the city's first Lego League Citywide Championship.

Hundreds of students displayed their Lego skills by building robots and other science projects.

The theme was using energy more efficiently in the real world. As a result, kids added solar panels and other energy-saving technologies to their Lego robots.

Organizers say the project helps the students prepare for their future.

"The world of work has changed," said Randy Schaeffer, regional director of the program. "Work is done globally. Technology is the key to our being able to compete in the global marketplace. These kids are going to work in a world that's entirely different than the one today."

To get ready for this competition, the students, along with a coach, spent the last four months months working on their projects.

"We went around in Woodside and asked the pizza store manager how much he pays monthly and he says he pays like around $400 and we asked the 99-cent store and an average building and then we told them how to save energy," said participant Imran Sajiv. "You can use a dimmer or turn off lights in the house and people saved $200 to $300 a month."

Parents say they are happy their children are involved in this activity.

"It's awesome; it's beautiful," said one parent. "I'm learning along with my son about solar paneling and the world of energy. I'm glad I'm here today."

Winning teams will move on to the international championships in Atlanta this April.

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