60 Teams Compete in Head-to-Head Robotics Competition Supporting STEM Education
METAIRIE, LA. —(March 24, 2020)— M S Benbow & Associates (MSB) engineers and technical staff volunteered as judges for the Louisiana FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Robotics State Championship (RSC). MSB’s staff interviewed and observed teams of middle school students competing in the robotics tournament, which took place Jan. 18 at Jesuit High School in New Orleans.
FLL offers an opportunity for students aged 9-14 to design, build and compete with a robot constructed of LEGOs and to investigate a challenge associated with the annual competition theme. The 2019/2020 FLL City Shaper challenge focused on creating innovative solutions to help cities and towns shape an optimal future using our environment and modern-day tools and technology.
The Louisiana FLL program is supported by the Tulane Center for K-12 STEM Education, which provides board members, tournament organizers, mentors and volunteers.
Dr. Michelle Sanchez, director of K-12 STEM Outreach for the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering, said, “Being involved in the FLL is a great way to meet and have a positive impact on our future engineers and scientists.”
FLL has grown from an initial 15 team tournament in 2003 to 139 Louisiana teams participating this year in 10 qualifiers around the state, with 60 teams joining the championship. According to a survey of FLL participants, 88% of students report an increased interest in attending college, and 80% report an interest in a job that uses science and technology.
Judges undergo a screening and training process to ensure the tournament applies “Global Standards,” designed to provide a consistent experience for teams attending official FLL events.
“It’s always gratifying to have the opportunity to interact with and inspire these outstanding young students, who are the future generation of engineers and scientists in our region,” said MSB’s President Leo L. Holzenthal, Jr. P.E. “Not only are students designing a practical application using science and technology, but they are learning important life skills such as teamwork, time management and problem-solving—all elements of successful engineering projects.
“Applying engineering principles to create solutions to the issues impacting our communities is what makes the field of engineering so rewarding,” Holzenthal added.
MSB’s engineers are registered in over 30 states, and are consistently recognized for technical ability, leadership in industry organizations and regional excellence. MSB engineers mentored a team competing in the 27th-annual First Robotics Competition Bayou Regional and the company was a sponsor of the 62nd-annual Greater New Orleans Science & Engineering Fair (GNOSEF). Additionally, MSB’s leadership serves on the board of directors for GNOSEF as well as the Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative (GNOSTEM), formerly Core Element, a non-profit providing teacher professional development, hands-on STEM camps for students and educators, and community STEM events.
Celebrating more than 40 years as a privately-owned engineering consultancy, MSB delivers integrated, turnkey engineering services for complex engineering projects from California to the Northeastern United States. MSB was recognized with the 2018 Louisiana Small Business Award for Outstanding Growth and is a three-time recipient of the Times Picayune Top Places to Work Award. MSB has four locations in Louisiana and Texas and more than 100 associates.
About M S Benbow & Associates
A multi-discipline, integrated engineering consultancy, M S Benbow & Associates is regarded as one of the top professional engineering firms in the region serving some of the most notable refineries, airports, convention centers, campuses, and large public venues in the United States. With professional registrations in over 30 states and offices in Metairie, Mandeville, Houston and Dallas, MSB provides expertise in Electrical Power Systems, Instrumentation & Controls, Telecommunications & Technology, and Drafting & Design with end-to-end project management services. MSB provides a wide range of engineering services including feasibility studies, front-end engineering design, detailed design packages, site acceptance testing, startup/commissioning services and specialty installation services.