Norwich to Host Annual FIRST® LEGO LEAGUE Vermont State Championship

Tanya TranCollege of Professional Schools, Events, News, Press Releases, Top Story


Dec. 4, 2107

Norwich University will host the annual FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Vermont State Championship on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Shapiro Field House beginning at 9 a.m.

Founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST® LEGO® League is designed to inspire children in science and technology through the use of robotics. Open to 9 to 14-year-old students around the world, teams are tasked with researching a real-world scientific issue and designing and building an original robot.

Norwich University established the state’s regional FLL affiliate beginning in 2013 hosting regional qualifiers, and beginning in 2015 hosting the state championship event.

The Norwich event on Dec. 10 marks the third year of an independent FLL region in the state of Vermont. With 17 teams of up to 10 students each, along with coaches and parents, there will be much to see throughout the day, and spectators are encouraged to attend. Additionally, 6 Junior FLL teams comprised of elementary school-aged students will be exhibiting their work related to the challenge at an unofficial showcase during the event.

Using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technologies, student teams showcase the results of weeks of intense preparation as they deploy their robots to complete thematic challenges in autonomous robot matches. Teams connect with their local and global communities by using critical thinking, creativity, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM ) concepts to create and present innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

This year’s theme is “Hydrodynamics” and focuses on how we find, transport, use, or dispose of water.

Events are scheduled throughout the day:

  • Pre-registered team arrival | 8:00 a.m.
  • Opening remarks | 9:00 a.m.
  • Judged events start | 9:40 a.m.
  • Robot matches start | 1:00 p.m.
  • Robot matches conclude | 3:30 p.m. (approximately)
  • Awards ceremony | 4:15 p.m. (approximately)

Spectators will also have the opportunity to see demos from Vermont high school robotics teams (FRC) at the competition. Starting at noon, spectators are welcome to visit the on-campus Sullivan Museum & History Center, the state’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, or they may visit water-themed engineering demonstrations in Norwich’s newly remodeled Carrara Family Engineering Lab. The schedule is approximate and subject to change.

Opening and closing ceremonies, as well as robot matches, take place at Shapiro Field House. Event highlights include team presentations to judges on their robot design choices and on their innovative solution to a water-themed community problem. Teams also complete challenges during the event to demonstrate their ability to work as a group—an important component of the competition.

While the robots often attract the most attention, a key aspect of the FLL program is its “Core Values” which, according to its website, “are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FLL from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.”

After teams check-in, Executive Director at Friends of the Winooski River (a local nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of the Winooski River and its tributaries), Michele Braun, will give opening remarks at 9:00 a.m.

Team presentations begin at 9:40 a.m. and continue through 12:30 p.m. Robot matches begin at 1 p.m. and run throughout the remainder of the event. The day will conclude with an awards ceremony around 4:15 p.m.

For more information, contact the FLL team at, 802.485.2256.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Kathleen Murphy-Moriarty
Associate VP of Communications & Marketing
Office Tel: (802) 485-2292