Southeast Hosting FIRST LEGO League ‘Nature’s Fury’ Challenge



CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 7, 2013 — Southeast Missouri State University will host a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition with a theme of “Nature’s Fury” next month in which teams will present creative solutions to natural disasters.

The FLL Qualifying Competition for children ages 9-14 will be held Nov. 9 in the University Center.

Teams will build, test and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® to solve a set of natural disaster themed missions, such as positioning an evacuation sign, clearing an airplane’s runway of debris and delivering supplies, said.

Kevin McMeel, site coordinator for the FLL Qualifying Competition , says the “Nature’s Fury” Challenge is an extension of the FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) high school robotics competition hosted by Southeast the past five years.

“The cornerstones of the experience are the FLL Core Values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly competition, learning and community involvement,” he said.

FLL is a nationwide elementary and middle school robotics event designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. This program introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.

McMeel says volunteers are needed from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help with the competition. Registered volunteers will receive breakfast and lunch, and will get the opportunity to see the wonderful work and creativity of youth in the region.

“For these competitions to be successful, we need all types of volunteers,” he said. “You do not need any special expertise to be a good volunteer. Even if you aren’t able to volunteer, we would love to have everyone attend the event to see what it’s all about. We would love to have FLL grow to be as large as FTC in our region.”

Admission is free.

To register to volunteer, visit Then select “11/9/2013 Southeast Missouri State Univ., Cape Girardeau, MO” under the FLL Qualifiers. Those interested in volunteering may also email McMeel at For more information on the competition, visit


Photo Caption: An FLL middle school math team at Immaculate Conception School in Jackson, Mo., will participate in the “Nature’s Fury Challenge.” The Immaculate Conception LEGO Robotic Team, taught by teacher Renee Deken, built this draft robot on a game field.