Youth Robotics Competition kicks off at Cox Science Center

Youth Robotics Competition kicks off at Cox Science Center

Polo Park team at work.

Consider them the building blocks for a bright future as the Cox Science Center and Aquarium launched its first youth robotics competition in partnership with the First Lego League of South Florida. On Saturday, September 17, students aged 9-14 – including a strong group from Wellington’s Polo Park Middle School – kicked off this year’s hands-on robotics competitions with STEM-focused instructors at their side. The center currently serves as a home base for First Lego competitions with the Stiles-Nicholson Foundation as the presenting sponsor and Florida Power & Light as the strong season sponsor.

The League is the world’s leading nonprofit organization that advances science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Through a suite of comprehensive team-based bots, it has a definite impact on learning, attention and skill building in and out of the classroom. For 30 years, students from all walks of life have developed self-confidence in STEM and valuable real-world skills through the program.

“It just takes a quick conversation with these young participants to realize that they have impressive, long-term goals,” said Kate Ariza, president and CEO of the Cox Science Center. “These kids are innovative beyond their years – whether their plan is to use robotics to alleviate homelessness or to colonize Mars. We are very excited to partner with First Lego to advance children’s passion and keep them engaged in STEM-related hobbies.”

Students gain real-world problem-solving experiences through a global directed robotics program, helping today’s students and teachers build a better future together. The league’s three divisions inspire young people to experiment and develop critical thinking, coding and design skills through hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and robotics centered on an annual theme.

The Cox Science Center and Aquarium will support First Lego League teams across the region as they build and program a Lego robot to complete specific tasks. The ‘Energy’ theme for the 2022-23 season challenges teams to reimagine a sustainable energy future and advance their ideas.

“These kids are learning skills for jobs that haven’t yet been invented. The future of energy – how we produce and consume it – depends on it,” said Pam Rauch, Vice President of Foreign Affairs and Economic Development at FPL. “We look to the next generation who teaches us new technology and methodologies that will reshape the energy industry. We have it fully.

As a program delivery organization, Cox Science Center now serves as the backbone for First Lego League teams in South Florida, providing support and training, serving as a communications channel for teams, and leading the regional planning team that builds an exciting season of events, playoffs and competitions.

The current indoor/outdoor Cox Science Center & Aquarium houses over 100 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000-gallon aquarium, a digital planetarium, a pre-kindergarten discovery center, a conservation-themed 18-hole miniature golf course, and a quarter-length outdoor science trail. Mile.

The Cox Amphitheater hosts daily live science shows, seasonal laser shows, and special event programming. The center took on a new name at the end of 2021 when the leadership announced a $20 million gift from Palm Beachers Howard and Wendy Cox to launch a transformational capital campaign.

Join the action and form your own team until October 31st. To register for the program, visit www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll Or call (561) 832-1988 for details.

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