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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

MEDIA ADVISORY: NJIT Hosts Robotics Competition: 15 Newark Schools To Compete In FIRST LEGO Tournament

WHAT: Some 120 students from Newark’s public schools will compete in a Mission Mars robotics contest. The sixth through eighth graders, divided into 15 teams, used Lego Mindstorm kits to design small robots. The children, mentored by NJIT students, programmed the robots to perform tasks on a mock surface of Mars. In competition, the robots must perform certain tasks: moving ramps and exiting a landing base, clearing surface dust from solar panels and connecting habitation modules. Judges will evaluate the robots’ performance and select team winners.       

WHO: The 15 student teams; NJIT students who mentored the teams; NJIT staff members; Newark teachers and team coaches; NJIT Vice President Joel Bloom and NJIT President Robert Altenkirch. 

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 21, from noon to 2:45 p.m.     

WHERE:  Fleisher Athletic Center on NJIT’s main quad

BACKGROUND: The Mission Mars contest is sponsored and funded by NJIT’s Pre-College Talent Search Program in collaboration with the Newark Public Schools Office of Teaching and Learning. FIRST LEGO is an international program designed to foster student interest in science and technology.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.