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Wright Museum hosts Robofest competition on April 19

Release Date: April 15, 2014

DETROIT – Seventeen teams from the Metro Detroit area will compete in a regional competition round of Robofest on Saturday, April 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren, Detroit.

Robofest is a competition of autonomous robots – computer-programmed to act independently and not remote-controlled – that encourages students to have fun while learning principles of science, technology, engineering, and math, known as the STEM subjects. Teams compete in the junior division (grades 5-9) or senior division (grades 9-12), using a variety of computer programming languages to program robots.

Teams from Detroit, Birmingham, Ferndale, Sterling Heights, Southfield and Canton will compete in the regional competition at the Wright Museum.

Trophy winners at this competition will advance to the Robofest Michigan Championship on Saturday, May 3, at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield. The Robofest 2014 World Championship will be held at LTU on Saturday, May 17. (Go to www.robofest.net for more details.)

LTU Computer Science Professor CJ Chung started Robofest in 2000 to promote STEM and computer science through robotics. This year it has attracted more than 1,600 students from ten states (Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Hawaii, California, Missouri, Indiana and Washington) and seven other countries (Canada, Mexico, Korea, China, India, South Africa and France).

This year’s game mission, AMD (Avoid Melt-Down), is to develop an autonomous robot to cool down a nuclear power plant by dropping off three tennis balls and an egg representing water containers into a simulated nuclear reactor box facing a meltdown. In addition, the robot needs to measure and report the volume of the box in cubic centimeters. The challenge directly connects math concepts to robotics.

In addition to the game, there will be science fair-style exhibition competition, which will demonstrate the imagination and creativity of the students through robotics.

Robofest team members and attendees can visit the “Inspiring Minds” exhibit free of charge and may tour the rest of the Wright Museum for an $8 entry fee.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 7 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area. Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.