*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***
DATE: Friday, June 29
TIME: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., MEDIA ACCESS at noon
WHAT: LEGO robot training workshop for teachers and adult coaches
WHERE: UMass Amherst Computer Science Building, 140 Governors Dr.
At a sold-out coach training workshop on Friday, June 29 at the Computer Science Building on the UMass Amherst campus, visiting experts will teach 32 science teachers and other adults how to build and program LEGO robots so they can help to form FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics teams for 9- to 14-year-old boys and girls in area schools and community organizations.
The overall goal is to form more clubs and FLL teams where students can have fun with robots at the same time getting excited about science and engineering study and careers.
FIRSTconsultant Karen Sullivan and LEGO education specialist Catherine Helgoe will teach the adults how to build and program LEGO NXT robots. They will discuss how to organize and coach a FIRST LEGO League robotics team. The event was organized by the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) at UMass Amherst. CAITE has led very popular Girls Connect workshops over the past three years for fourth grade to middle school girls from across western Massachusetts.
FIRST LEGO League clubs and activities are often used by science teachers in the classroom, but teams of up to 10 young people with at least one adult coach can also be set up by community youth groups and home-schooled groups. Organizers say that like any organized sport, teams have fundraisers, create a team identity and go on field trips.
CAITE works to broaden participation in information technology education in Massachusetts. Funded by the National Science Foundation, CAITE is led by UMass Amherst in partnership with 15 public higher education institutions across Massachusetts.