Media Contact: Fred Strohl

Knoxville Regional LEGO tournament Nov. 16 at Hardin Valley


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OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2013 -- About 100 students representing 18 Knoxville area teams will compete in a regional LEGO tournament Saturday, Nov. 16 at Hardin Valley Academy, working with miniature robots that perform required tasks on a table.

“This year’s theme in ‘Nature’s Fury,’” said John Tilson, a Hardin Valley science teacher and Saturday’s tournament director. “The students have a lot of problems they need to solve. They design and build a predominantly LEGO robot. They perform a certain number of challenges and they get points for each challenge. They have to do certain rescues and they have to move certain items from place to place.”

The competition embodies all aspects of STEM education, including science, technology, engineering and math.

“The students have to develop an idea and move forward with a strategy,” Tilson added. “The idea this is problem-based solving and learning is a tremendous part of this program.”

Activity starts at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 3:30 p.m. Top teams from the Knoxville tournament advance to the state tournament Dec. 7 at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville.

December’s Tennessee FIRST LEGO Tournament is co-sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tennessee Tech.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit


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