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FIRST Robotics Competition - Midwest Regional

April 4-6, 2013

UIC Pavilion · 525 S. Racine Street – Chicago, Illinois

The Midwest Regional is Open to the Public – Admission is Free!

The FIRSTRobotics Competition Midwest Regional is an international, intense three-day event showcasing robots developed and operated by teams of high school students. The competing robots are the result of 6-1/2 weeks of high school students and professional engineering/science mentors teaming up to solve the engineering challenges presented in the Season Challenge/Robot Game. The robots represent the product of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, and managing project deadlines. The mentor/student interaction is integral to the FRC program. It takes a lot of hard work to develop a competitive robot, and it shows when you see them in action at the Midwest Regional.

FRC robots are big, measuring up to 5 feet tall and weighing 120+ pounds. In the competition, two alliances (red and blue) each composed of three robot teams play each other on fields that are the size of a basketball half-court. All day Friday through Saturday morning a series of Qualifying Rounds matches are played between randomly generated alliance teams to determine the top eight seeded individual teams. These top eight individual teams will now select two other teams that they would like to join them in forming an alliance for the Elimination Rounds matches. Saturday afternoon starts off with the eight alliances competing in the Quarterfinal Matches, four alliances will move on to the Semi-final Matches, then the Finals where two alliances will vie for the title of Midwest Regional Champion!

Dubbed the “grand-daddy” of all FIRST Regional Events, Midwest is a highly competitive, exciting and fun premier spectacular! It is a spectator-friendly competition environment that has the feel of both a major sporting event and a rock concert, complete with cheering fans, crazy costumes, special lighting, up-beat music, a large video wall, and energetic emcees/announcers. In essence, the Midwest Regional is a celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics!

We hope that you will join us on April 4-6 for this year’s Midwest Regional at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. Like all FIRST Robotics Competition events, Midwest is free and open to the public! If you do plan to attend, please remember to wear closed-toed shoes and bring along a pair of safety glasses so that you can visit the pit area to meet the robots and the students who built them. And remember…our team members, coaches, mentors, volunteers and Regional staff are all very friendly and will be happy assist you and to answer any questions that you may have.

You can find more information and details about the 2013 Midwest Regional, by visiting the website at

2012 Midwest Regional Competition Recap

March 22-24, 2012 … UIC Pavilion … Chicago … 51 teams from seven states … 15 nervous rookie teams … dancing in the streets before doors open … a varsity sport for the mind … robots playing basketball … balancing on bridges … human players sinking half-court shots … a night at the museum … crazy outfits … spirited cheers … great music … exciting rock concert atmosphere … new friendships formed … old friends reunited … coopertition between opposing sides … gracious professionalism reigning supreme … accomplishments rewarded … awards earned … people coming together not only for the competition, but also in celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an exciting, fun, festive, spirited sports-like event!

Click Here to Enjoy the 2012 Midwest Regional Wrap Video and others


Brickworld 2013

Do you like LEGOs?  If you are a LEGO fan and have not yet attended a Brickworld convention, this is a MUST SEE!  Brickworld is a convention created by Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOLs). The target groups for the full convention are AFOLs and Teen Fans of LEGO (TFOLs). There is a registration option geared toward family participation along with the public exposition hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Brickworld is a gathering of like minded hobby enthusiasts that want to share what they have created, what they know, games they play, and many other things. The fully registered attendees allow us to open the event hall to the public on Saturday and Sunday to share their creations with anyone.

For details, please see the Brickworld website at

Dates:  open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16, 2013.

New Location this year in the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumberg. 
1551 N. Thoreau Dr.
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

Video games organized by platform and genre

Interesting chart showing video games organized by platform and genre over time.


Illinois State FLL Tournament

Written by Administrator Friday, 18 January 2013 19:04

The Illinois State FLL Tournament will be held on January 18 & 19, 2013 at the Forest View Fieldhouse:

Forest View Fieldhouse
2121 Goebbert Road
Arlington Heights, IL

Schedule information is shown below:

Friday January 18, 2013

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Doors Open. Team Registration available
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM Café Open for snacks and drinks
6:00 PM – 9:30 PM Robot Design Interviews, Core Values interviews, Ambassador Award Interviews, Project Presentations

Saturday, January 19, 2013

7:30 AM Doors Open/Practice Tables Open.
7:30 AM Wildstang Café Open for Breakfast
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM Bring Lunch pre-orders to WildStang Café by 9AM
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM All Teams (including those with judging interviews on Saturday morning) check-in at desk titled Team Check-In (don’t stand in line, just come in some time between 8:00 and 9:30 AM – we just want to ensure you’ve arrived!)

8:00 AM – 9:50 AM Project, Core Values, Robot Design, Ambassador Interviews Teams check-in at the Judging table prior their first scheduled interview.  Judging check-in available after 7:30AM
9:40 AM – 10:00 AM Coaches’ Meeting – Hallway outside North Gym. Each team should send a coach or adult representative.
10:10 AM– 10:35 AM Opening Ceremony in Field house
10:45 AM – 12:00 Noon Match 1
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Lunch Available
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pick up WildStang Café pre-orders
12:00 Noon Callback schedule posted at T-Shirt Table in Field House
12:00 Noon – 1:15 PM Match 2
12:30 Noon – 2:00 PM Callback interviews
1:30 PM – 1:45 PM Photo of All teams in East Bleachers
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Match 3 (Followed by Team pictures and Medal presentation)
3:15 PM – 4:30 PM Match 4
4:35 PM – 4:45 PM Top 8 performance teams participate in exhibition round
4:45 PM – 5:30 PM FLL Closing Ceremony


LEGO apps for Android phones

With the introduction of smart phones, a number of apps for Android phones are now available.  Some of the apps use Bluetooth to connect with a LEGO NXT while others provide access to LEGO building instructions.   Below are some free apps:

LEGO Scan - This app enables you to browse through 4000 LEGO® scans by box number, name, year or by theme.

myBrickset: LEGO Set Guide - Browse the LEGO catalogue & prices offline, or download building instructions.

Lego Mini Figure Identifier+ - Scan, reveal, browse Lego mini figure packet contents for Euro & USA

MINDdroid - Control LEGO MINDSTORMS robots with your Android phone.

NXT Remote Control - Control your Lego Mindstorms NXT robot from your phone via Bluetooth.

NXT Bluetooth Remote Control - Remote control your Lego NXT robot with your Android device.


Please note that neither Program To Learn nor the author of this article have tested the above apps or checked them for safe use or security.  As with any download from the internet, please exercise proper care and precautions.


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