Ashland, Neb. – On Saturday, February 22, 2014, The Strategic Air & Space Museum will host the Fifth Annual Nebraska Robotics Expo. Over 1,000 K-12 Nebraska students, team leaders and math and science teachers will gather for this premier robotics event that brings together two robotics competitions under one roof, the CEENBoT Robotics Showcase and the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), for a day of robotics fun in a historical venue.
“This is a celebration of in-school and after-school student work with robotics,” says Angela Roeber, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at the Strategic Air & Space Museum. “The Nebraska Robotics Expo encourages student involvement with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as educates and engages our next generation of innovators, their families and the general public about STEM opportunities in Nebraska. This is truly one of our biggest days at the Museum as we are anticipating over 2,000 visitors for this event.”
The CEENBoT Showcase will host the largest group of teams ever this year with over 100 teams from 40 Nebraska Elementary, Middle and High Schools. It is the sixth season for the Showcase that uses the Nebraska-created CEENBoT robot platform.
“The public is invited to play as well,” explains Alisa Gilmore, Nebraska Robotics Expo & CEENBoT Robotics Showcase Coordinator. “One of the highlights of the showcase is the CEENBoT Games! The young as well as the young at heart are encouraged to participate in activities such as CEENBoT Tae Kwon Do, Minute to Win It, Driving Maze, Bumpbot Mode, Precision Driving, and more.”
FIRST LEGO League will host 46 teams and Jr. FLL will host 10 teams. In the 2013 NATURE’S FURY ℠ Challenge, students 9 to 16 years of age will explore the awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disasters. Teams will discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work and play.
“The Nebraska Robotics Expo is the result of a collaboration of leaders within the University of Nebraska system,” says Gilmore. “It includes leadership by faculty and staff of the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Education, faculty and staff within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering, and faculty and staff of the UNL 4-H Extension. The Expo is made possible by generous local corporate sponsorships, including Union Pacific and OPPD, and by seed monies from the National Science Foundation as well as many other organizations.”
Opening Ceremonies will take place at 8:30am in the lower Atrium of the Strategic Air & Space Museum.
CEENBot Robotics – The CEENBoT Robotics program has its roots in the SPIRIT grant project, which stands for the Silicon Prairie Initiative for Robotics in Information Technology. The SPIRIT program was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and has provided the instructional foundation needed to help teachers to use educational robotics to teach important science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts. The current CEENBoT Robotics program combines the technical expertise of engineering professors and staff in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering with the educational expertise of professors and staff in the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This collaboration has created a national educational STEM robotics curriculum for middle schools.
Junior FIRST® LEGO® League – Junior First® LEGO League introduces younger children to the exciting world of science and technology. This program features a real-world challenge to be solved by research, critical thinking, construction, teamwork, and imagination. Guided by adult coaches, teams use LEGO bricks to build a model with a motorized part and develop a coordinating poster to illustrate their journey.
FIRST LEGO League – Children are immersed in real-world science and technology challenges as part of the FIRST LEGO League Program. Teams build LEGO-based robots and develop research projects. Through their participation, children develop valuable life skills and discover exciting career possibilities while learning that they can make a positive contribution to society.
The Strategic Air & Space Museum – located between Lincoln and Omaha near Interstate 80, utilizes over 300,000 square feet of exhibit, education, and event space to ignite the thrill of discovery and innovation in guests of all ages. Organized in 1959, the original mission of the museum was to commemorate the contributions of the Strategic Air Command, which until 1992 was headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base. The museum moved to its current location in 1998 upon completion of a new indoor facility. The museum houses an impressive collection of military aircraft and space artifacts, many of which have been restored in the museum’s on-site restoration facility. To better serve the community, the museum has recently established a partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of STEM Education to provide cutting-edge educational opportunities for students, teachers, families, and adult learners. Traveling exhibits, permanent exhibits, and a variety of special events provide additional unique experiences for the museum’s members and guests.
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