Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Knoxville team wins Tennessee Lego Tournament

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 15, 2009 — A group of Knoxville students ages 9 to 14 will head to Atlanta in April to compete in the World First Lego Tournament after winning the state tournament Dec. 5 in Cookeville.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Steve Parham coaches and mentors the team, which used Legos and a miniature robot to perform tasks on a table.

Parham says earning a spot in the Atlanta event was a team goal.

"There are teams that come from all over the world and there will be between 20 and 30 different countries represented," Parham said. "There will be great opportunity to meet all of these people from different places and cultures."

About 1,000 youngsters participated in the state Lego competition.

"We started about two or three months ago," Parham said of the preparations. "We meet one to two times a week. We start not only with the robot, but also with the presentation from the very beginning. With the kids having a lot of experience, they're pretty quick to be able to do it at this point. They have a lot of fun with it."

ORNL is a sponsor of the tournament.

UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.