PUBLISHED: 5:16 PM on Wednesday, February 20, 2008
'Irrationals' from DZ take 2nd place in State Lego League tournament
8 Juneau students to travel to Atlanta, GA to compete in the World Festival
Legos can lead to great things.

"The Irrationals" from Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School and their robot Howard took top honors at the Juneau Robot Jamboree, a local competition organized in November by the Juneau Economic Development Council.

In January The Irrationals joined 46 other teams at the University of Alaska Anchorage for the statewide tournament. The Juneau team won second place overall, winning first place in both teamwork and robot design. The team now hopes to compete in the FIRST Lego League World Festival.

FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, designs accessible, innovative programs that build science and technology skills and interests, along with self-confidence, leadership, and life skills. FIRST will host the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Power Puzzle World Festival in conjunction with the FIRST Championship in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center in April.

FLL will host 84 teams from 33 different countries around the world. Teams will participate in a 2-day celebration of their robotic and challenge project accomplishments.

This year's FLL Challenge calls for students' to use robotics to understand and create solutions for one of today's most critical environmental issues: energy management and conservation. With missions exploring solar panels on houses, hydro-dams, wind turbines and planting trees, teams will program their robots to find sustainable options to meet our planet's growing energy needs in environmentally sound ways. Teams performed energy audits on buildings in their communities to find real and immediate ways to improve local energy management.

The Irrationals have just two months to work on their robot missions, continue work on their energy project, prepare a presentation board about Juneau for the international assembly, and raise approximately $10,000. These students will need the financial support of our community to make it to Atlanta. Contributions can be made to Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School (JFLL) 1600 Renninger St Juneau, AK 99801 or to Alaska Engineers Education Foundation (AEEF-JFLL) C/O AEEF PO Box 81517 Fairbanks, AK 99708.