Hundreds of Students Expected to Compete in LEGO Robotics Challenge

The challenge allows students to put engineering skills to the test.

WHAT: Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR) Competition Day

WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (April 11)

WHERE: Texas Tech Rec Center Basketball Courts

EVENT: Get Excited about Robotics (GEAR) is an eight-week LEGO robotics challenge for elementary and middle school students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Student teams build and program LEGO robots, using EV3/MINDSTORMS EV3 kits to perform specified tasks.

To solve the challenge, students learn engineering skills through a teaming exercise in designing, building, programming, testing and troubleshooting wheeled LEGO robots that perform and compete on an 8-foot-by-8-foot field.

Texas Tech freshman engineering students mentor the elementary and middle school students and assist with robot programming. The competition for elementary students runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., while the competition for middle school students runs from 1-5 p.m.

During the last six years, Texas Tech served as a local GEAR hub for the competition in Lubbock. During this time period, the competition has grown from a trial run held with Harwell Elementary School in 2006 to a competition with 150 participating teams. This year, more than 700 students from more than 50 schools from the Lubbock area and across the South Plains will participate.

GEAR is part of National Robotics Week. For more information, visit the GEAR website.

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CONTACT: Tanja Karp, associate professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3533 ext. 251, or tanja.karp@ttu.edu.