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BLAST/FIRST LEGO League Louisiana Championship Tournament


API-Delta Chapter, and several other petroleum industry societies and organizations volunteered their time and/or monies to sponsor the BLaST/FIRST LEGO League Louisiana Championship Tournament again this year. This year API-Delta was a gold sponsor for the tournament which was held December 6, 2008 at J. D. Meisler Middle School in Metairie. Society participation included NOGS, SPE-Delta, Young Professionals, COPAS, SWE. Representatives from Hydrate Energy International, Shell, MMS, Chevron, ORX, Helis, Century, and MWH Associates spent the day serving as judges, referees, and crowd coordinators and more.

BLAST - Building Louisiana Science and Technology is a non-profit umbrella which brings students of Louisiana the opportunity to participate in cutting edge science and technology learning experiences. Forty-one teams throughout the state of Louisiana participated in the First Lego League challenge. Students built robots to perform challenges relating to climate. They also researched the topic and participated in team presentations which related to the topic.

FIRST LEGO gives students ages 9-14 a basic introduction to programming, robotics, problem solving research and teamwork FIRST LEGO League robots are made using LEGO Mindstorm kits. There is also a Junior FIRST LEGO League (JFLL) competition which is geared to children aged 6 to 9 years old. This year three teams participated in this competition. This year's topic was Climate Connection. In the junior competition, a modified FIRST LEGO League (FLL) framework is used. Teams of up to 6 children and an adult mentor receive a mini challenge, based on the annual FLL research project. Using an open-ended LEGO building set, they design a model depicting an aspect of this year's Challenge. They also create a "Show Me" poster that depicts the teams' experience during this process, through drawings and words.

FIRST Lego is an opportunity for the students to learn first hand about robotics, electronics, website building, presentations, project management, careers in engineering, and more. Additional information about sponsorship, participation, or to volunteer please refer to: www.Lafll.org.

Industry volunteers include:

Barbara Giangrosso of COPAS , Steven Kovacs from MMS, Jan Catalano of API, Leslie Develle of SWE. Desk and Derrick representatives included Johanna Lee, Diane Badeaux, Patricia Netherland, Shelly Gisevius. SPE's Young Professional organization's volunteers were: Gani Sangingaliyev, Joseph Cochran, Marides Athanasiadis, Brandon Calva, Brian Carr , Michell Doise. Once again, Lisa Ingraham of Helis acted as emcee for the event and Art Johnson of Hydrate Energy International gave the keynote speech.

Thanks to all that came out and helped. It was a fun, rewarding day for all!