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Robot contests spark tech interest

Lego robot contest

Lego robot contest Credit: Newsday file

Robotics and Lego building blocks are a hot combination right now among Long Island schoolchildren.

Interest in Lego League science and technology projects has surged, with 104 Long Island school teams competing in tournaments this month, contest organizers say.

An underlying purpose for the tournaments is to spark interest in engineering and technology careers among the children.

A sponsoring group, School-Business Partnerships of Long Island Inc., will hold two qualifying tournaments this weekend.

The competitions are part of an international children’s program that “combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program with a sportslike atmosphere,” the group says.

The qualifying tournaments on Saturday and Sunday will start at 9 a.m. at Berner Middle School, 50 Carman Mill Rd., Massapequa.

Qualifying teams will proceed to the Islandwide final tournament to be held March 6 at Longwood High School in Middle Island.

For more information on the contest, the For Inspiration in and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Lego League, go to

“FIRST Lego League International introduces children around the world in elementary and middle schools to the fun and experience of solving real-world problems by applying math, science, and technology,” the website says.

By the way, Lego informs us, “the name 'LEGO' is an abbreviation of the two Danish words ‘leg godt’, meaning "play well". It’s our name and it’s our ideal.”

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