“Hockabots” Team from Dallas Wins 1st Place Champion’s Award at 10th Annual North Texas FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Regional Championship Robotics Tournament

Months exploring the complex world of the human water cycle pays off for the “Hockabots” as they advance to the World Festival in Houston April 18-21; “Incredibots of Panther Creek Estates” of Frisco takes 2nd place and “PIE (Prosper Independe

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DALLAS (Feb. 7, 2018) It was a thrilling year as the North Texas FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) Regional Championship Robotics Tournament commemorated 10 years of inspiring the STEM leaders of tomorrow.

After months of intense preparation for this season’s FLL robotics competition challenge “HYDRO DYNAMICS,” nearly 600 North Texas youth came ready to compete at the 10th-annual tournament held Feb. 3 at Parish Episcopal School and Community Center. Winning the 1st place Champion’s Award was the “Hockabots” team, with students from The Hockaday School in Dallas, who will advance to the World Festival in Houston on April 18-21. The 2nd place team – “Incredibots of Panther Creek Estates” (with students from Frisco) – will head to the LEGOLAND® North American Open in Carlsbad, CA, May 18-20. Taking 3rd place, the “PIE (Prosper Independent Engineers)” team with students from Prosper will head to the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, AR. Winning the Strategy and Innovation award was the “POP Warriors” team (with students from Carrollton), who have a special opportunity to attend the Estonian Open International in Tallinn, Estonia.

Both Champion’s Award teams were recognized for fully embracing the FLL Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in the robot game and project.

Produced by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and presented by Lockheed Martin, the FLL competition featured 60 teams of nearly 600 young “engineers in training” developing crucial practice with research projects, teamwork skills and robot-design strategies. Teams also built and programmed an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS technology to score points in 2.5-minute “mission” matches on a water-themed playing field.

“We’re excited for Lockheed Martin to be part of the North Texas FIRST LEGO® League tournament,” said Frank Armijo, vice president of Lockheed Martin Energy. “Lockheed Martin is committed to educating students in science, technology, engineering and math – whether inside or outside the classroom. This tournament is a shining example of the latter, and a great way to get students interested in engineering.”

In 2008, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science became the affiliate and operational partner for the North Texas FLL region. The Museum coordinates and oversees all North Texas FLL events, the largest of which is the Regional Championship Tournament typically held in February. FLL continues to grow in North Texas, from 25 teams in 2008 to 435 teams registered for the 2017 season.

“The North Texas region boasts one of the fastest rates of growth for FIRST LEGO® League, and we’re proud to have produced the championship event for the last 10 years,” said Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver, Eugene McDermott CEO of the Perot Museum. “It’s competitive, high-energy and, best of all, an incredibly fun gateway for students to pursue careers in STEM. Thanks to the FLL program, there’s a tremendous amount of momentum, and we can’t wait to foster and grow the program over the next decade.”

This year’s FLL journey began in August 2017, when 4,350 North Texas students ages 9-14 – and approximately 284,000 students worldwide – received the “HYDRO DYNAMICS” theme. They spent the next few months studying, dissecting and analyzing real-world challenges associated with the human water cycle and coming up with innovative solutions using science and technology. After qualifying rounds took place in December and January, nearly 600 North Texas youth qualified for the regional tournament.   

Sponsors, supporters and exhibitors

The North Texas FLL Championship Robotics Tournament was produced by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, presented by Lockheed Martin and hosted by Parish Episcopal School and Community Center. Supporting sponsors were ARCO/Murray, ExxonMobil and Rockwell Collins. Qualifier hosts were Adamson High School, Allen High School, Bethesda Christian School, Braswell High School, Burleson High School, Fellowship Christian Academy, Grand Saline High School, Heritage Middle School, Hillsboro Junior High, Nolan Catholic High School, Parish Episcopal School and Community Center and Williams High School.

For more information on North Texas FIRST LEGO® League (FLL), go to perotmuseum.org/FLL.

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About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The top cultural attraction in Dallas/Fort Worth and a Michelin Green Guide three-star destination, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to the Dallas Arts District. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through 11 permanent exhibit halls on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park museum has been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please visit perotmuseum.org.

About FIRST. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity. FIRST is supported by a strong network of sponsors and volunteers. FIRST provides the FIRST Robotics Competition for high-school students and the FIRST LEGO® League for 9 to 14 year-olds. FIRST also offers the Junior FIRST LEGO® League for 6 to 9 year-olds and the FIRST Tech Challenge, a mid-level robotics competition that offers high-school students a more affordable and accessible opportunity to participate in FIRST. For more information, visit usfirst.org.

About The LEGO® Group. The LEGO® Group, a privately held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality, creatively educational play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children’s creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: “Only the best is good enough.” For more information, visit LEGO.com.


LEGO®, MINDSTORMS® and their respective logos are registered trademarks of the LEGO® Group. FIRST and its logos are registered trademarks of US FIRST.

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For general Public Relations, please contact Becky Mayad from our media relations team at becky@mayadpr.com. For use of the Perot Museum logo or to request additional graphics, videos, or images please contact marketing@perotmuseum.org.

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