Saturday, February 13, 2010

Queens Tournament at Aviation HS Press Release

CITY STUDENTS AND THEIR ROBOTS SHOW THEIR

"SMART MOVES" TO IMPROVE THE SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY OF TRANSPORTATION

More than 350 area middle and grade school students

apply creativity and science to improve people’s lives

in the annual FIRST LEGO League season

Aviation High School, which was recently recognized as GreatSchool’s Parents’ Choice New York State High School of the Year, organized and hosted the third annual FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Queens Qualifying Tournament on January 23th, 2010. A critical proponent of this program is the principal of Aviation High School, Mr. Deno Charalambous. He is a firm believer in cutting edge technology being taught at all levels.

Three months of research and design culminated in the FLL tournament where 35 teams of children and mentors, from area primary and middle schools, demonstrated their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community. This year’s theme was Smart Move. The teams worked together to research improvements is the safety and efficiency of the transportation of people and goods.

“The diversity of ideas and solutions at these events is rivaled only by the diversity of the background of the students and mentors. People with roots from around the world come together to actively participate in science, technology, engineering and math for a common altruistic goal: make the world a better place for us all,” as stated by Queens FLL Coordinator, and teacher at Aviation High School, Michael Koumoullos.

The teams are judged in the following areas: research project presentation, robot performance, technical design, computer programming, and teamwork. The highest honor was awarded to the team from MS 67, the Boogie Bot, led by Ms. Ruta Dave, for best exemplifying the spirit and values of the program.

FLL is an international program for 9 to 14 year-old children created in a partnership between FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the LEGO Group in 1998 based on their common belief that fun and learning go hand-in-hand, and that an inspired mind can accomplish anything. Each September, FIRST announces the annual Challenge to teams, engaging them in authentic scientific research and hands-on robotics design. Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® bricks, motors, gears and software, children work alongside adult mentors to design, build and program robots to solve real-world challenges. After twelve intense weeks, the competition season culminates at high-energy, sports-like tournaments.

The Queens Qualifying Tournament was sponsored by Aviation High School, its Parents Association, Student Government and robotics team, The Quantum Samurai. I.S. 227Q, The Louis Armstrong School, hosted a practice tournament on December 20th, 2009.

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