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Lego League

When teams from nearly two dozen central Ohio middle schools gather this weekend for a regional First Lego League (FLL) competition, they'll be vying for spots in a national event.   Each year, FLL works with experts in the field to create a challenge that relates to a significant, real-world issue.

The end result is a challenge requiring teams to complete research about the topic, share their research and solution, and to utilize engineering concepts to design and build a LEGO robot that can master complex missions on a playing field. It's a fun and exciting way to encourage students' minds.

With an aging population, and early baby boomers reaching retirement age, this year's challenge is especially timely. It's titled the 2012 Senior Solutions challenge. Each FLL team will explore ways to improve the quality of life for seniors by helping them continue to be independent, engaged, and connected in their communities.

The competition will be held in the ballroom of the Columbus State Conference Center at the Center for Workforce Development, 315 Cleveland Avenue. The event is on Saturday, December 15 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The robot performance will begin around noon. Later in the day, the pits will open to the public at 3:15 p.m. and the closing ceremony with awards will begin at 3:45 p.m.