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Student robotics engineers to compete Jan. 5

Middle and junior high school students in Carbon County will be among thousands of students across Utah participating in the Utah FIRST LEGO robotic tournament in January.

The Carbon event will take place in the School District Office on Jan. 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The FIRST LEGO program kicked off in September.Teams were formed and began designed and preparing group innovation projects.

The January event is one of 14 regional qualifying tournaments. Winners advance to the state championship at the University of Utah on Jan. 26.

"The FIRST LEGO League program has seen tremendous growth in Utah in a short amount of time, and we are thrilled to enter our third tournament season," said Kathy Hajeb, FLL operational partner and executive director at the U of U Office of Technology Venture Development. "Every year I am thoroughly impressed by what these students are able to accomplish."

She called FLL "a sporting event for the mind."

This year's tournament theme is Senior Solutions and will focus on helping improve the quality of life for seniors. Everything teams do relates to this central topic. So, during the competition, theams must complete missions with their robots that represent issues that seniors face, and teams must prepare innovation projects that identify and folve problems relevant to seniors.

The program is headquarterred at the U in the office of Technology Venture Development. The university sponsors the event to promote creativity and an interest in technology, innovation and engineering among Utah kids.

Other core values in competion include "friendly competition" and "gracious professionalism.

More than 200,000 children in 60 countries are expected to be involved.

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