About 500 students, parents and teachers from around the region will compete in the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition in Chattanooga on Saturday.
Teams must use their robots to complete pre-determined tasks within the time allotted. Winners will move onto compete at the state-level competition in Atlanta on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. and awards will occur at 3:45 p.m.
The competition will be held at Red Bank Middle School, 3701 Tom Weathers Dr.
Those attending include Dr. Kirk Kelly, HCDE superintendent; David Sorrick, senior vice president Power Operations TVA; Bill Copeland, director of Business Intelligence EPB, Chattanooga; and Scott Rosenow, tournament director and HCDE teacher.
The mission of FLL is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills.
TVA sponsors about 25 schools that are competing. The future economy of the Tennessee Valley depends on a workforce skilled in the practical application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said officials.
TVA supports robotics programs in over 500 elementary, middle and high schools across the Valley reaching over 10,000 students. Robotics programs provide a fun, competitive way of encouraging STEM skills in all children, regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic background, said officials.