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28 student teams set for two computer programming competitions at Acadia

November 17, 2006

Source: Acadia University

(Wolfville, NS) - Acadia University will be the site of two robot programming competitions scheduled for November 25. The 2nd Annual High School Robot Programming Competition (RPC) features 14 teams of high school students from grades 9-12. The 1st Annual FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) also features 14 teams of students aged 9-14.

"The goal of both competitions is to interest students in science, math and engineering through showing them that learning can be fun and entertaining," said Acadia computer science professor Dr. Danny Silver, main organizer of the event. "The competition between teams adds excitement for spectators and gives friends and families a reason to cheer for the students. It also creates an opportunity for our generous local sponsors to showcase their support for education, particularly young people interested in science."

The High School RPC is designed to allow teams of high school students to apply their interest in computers in a fun and exciting programming competition. The competition was started by professors in Acadia’s Jodrey School of Computer Science who were looking for a way to interest students in studying computer programming, math and science at university. The two competitions now include professors from several science faculties.

"High school students can have a difficult time seeing the link between what they choose to study in school and the skills they will need to compete for jobs," said Dr. Silver. "Information technology, math and science can be fun and very rewarding. You also need strong team-building and problem-solving skills. We want young people to consider careers in science and math related fields and to better understand the high school education they will need to pursue a university program that leads to the career of their choice. The RPC and FLL competitions let students spend some time on a university campus, interact with professors, challenge themselves academically and spend time making new friends with similar interests – pretty much what the university experience is all about."

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, brings its annual FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) season to the Annapolis Valley with the 2006 Nano Quest Challenge.

This year’s challenge calls for teams of 9 to 14 year-old children to research and present their own creative applications of nanotechnology to improve people’s lives. Next weekend, at Acadia, eight weeks of research and design will culminate in the FLL challenge where 14 teams of children and mentors will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. is the major sponsor for this year’s FLL competition. "Michelin is proud to play an active role in the community and we are thrilled to sponsor the FIRST LEGO ® League event at Acadia", says Dennis Langille, Technical Manager of the Michelin Waterville facility. "Our business relies on innovation and discovery through science and technology, and we believe the FLL is an excellent way to inspire children to be curious, to explore new ideas and to be innovative."

The RPC and FLL competitions are judged in four areas: project presentation; robot performance; technical design and programming of the robot; and teamwork. The highest honor will go to the team that best exemplifies the spirit and values of the program.

Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, is recognized as one of Canada’s premier undergraduate institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized research initiatives, small class sizes, and its technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students a personalized education that includes rigorous academic programs combined with personal growth and development. For more information about Acadia, visit our website at


For more information contact:Scott RobertsSenior Director, Communications and Public AffairsAcadia UniversityP: 902.585.1705



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