Search
News Website

Archives

Email Page Link Email Page Link
Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
Bookmark and Share
News
Release

KeyBank and College of Computing and Information Partner to Bring Junior FIRST Lego League Expo to UAlbany
KeyBank donates $15,000 to help introduce young people to high tech in the real world

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

The UAlbany College of Computing and Information will host the Junior FIRST Lego League (JFLL) Expo

KeyBank and the College of Computing and Information partner to host a Lego-inspired expo designed to help youngsters make connections between technology and the real world.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 14, 2008) -- KeyBank has partnered with the University at Albany's College of Computing and Information (CCI) to host a Lego-inspired expo designed to help youngsters make connections between technology and the real world. KeyBank's partnership will support CCI's goal of involving more women in computing and information fields through its Women in Technology (CCIWIT) program.

The College will host the Junior FIRST Lego League (JFLL) Expo on Saturday, November 22, 2008, 1- 4:15 p.m. at the University at Albany's Campus Center Ballroom. Faculty, staff, and students from CCI and KeyBank volunteers will participate with teams of 6 to 9 year-old girls and boys from local schools to develop Lego-based projects around the theme of Climate Connections. The event will be kicked off with a welcome by University at Albany Interim President George Philip and a check presentation featuring Ellen Sax of the Key Bank Foundation, Roberta Vogt of Key Bank Technology Service, and CCI Dean Peter Bloniarz.

This year's Expo features 13 teams of as many as six children per team, plus a team coach and mentors who are elementary school teachers, CCI students, and parents. Through the project, the grade schoolers will exhibit projects and posters to demonstrate how Lego technology can be used to problem-solve and describe climate issues, while CCI undergraduate and graduate students gain a broader view of computing and information. Reviewers, including local weatherman Noah Francis, will discuss the models and posters with the grade-schoolers, and the teams will participate in an award ceremony.

"I am grateful for KeyBank's support and shared vision for the Lego League Expo and for the future of technology," said CCI Dean Peter Bloniarz. "It represents a first and early step in providing students with a practical experience that blends technology and how it will be used."

The UAlbany College of Computing and Information is hosting the Junior FIRST Lego League (JFLL) Expo

Coaches work with student teams to present Legos projects designed to answer real world questions through technology.

"Providing today's kids with opportunities to gain confidence and build knowledge is an investment in developing tomorrows leaders," said Jeffrey Stone, president, Capital Region, KeyBank N.A. "It is with great pride that Key supports FIRST and the Junior Lego League. In addition to introducing kids to technology, the experience of teamwork and accomplishment will motivate them to strive for even greater achievements in their lives."

CCI’s Women in Technology program is dedicated to encouraging girls and women to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies in the fields related to computer science, informatics, and information science. Nationally, women represent 59 percent of undergraduate degree recipients, while women comprise just 21 percent of computer sciences graduates.  Research shows that more than one million new computer and information-related jobs will be added to the U.S. job market by 2014, yet the nation's universities will only graduate enough computer science students to fill about half of these positions.

"New courses emphasizing today’s reality in the computer sciences -- multimedia, robotics, virtual worlds -- are increasingly being used to add zip to introductory computing classes," said CCI Dean Bloniarz. "Students are responding well. But the future of computing lies in recruiting and educating a diverse pool of students -- we need to gain the acceptance and interest of girls at an early age so that by the time they come to university they are energized about computer science and all it has to offer, including solid employment."

The JFLL program is designed by the company FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and LEGO for children 6 to 9 years old to introduce children to basic design skills and a hands-on approach to science and technology through the familiarity and fun of LEGO building.

RSS Feeds AvailableFor more news, subscribe to UAlbany's RSS headline feeds

Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 56 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

Please send questions comments about the University News site to:
mediarelations@uamail.albany.edu


top
CEAECF0125324FBCB7D4515D937168E5