Ten U.S. High School Teams to Compete in National Robotic Competition at the Smithsonian Institution

Manassas Virginia, April 27, 2011 – The Institute of Navigation (ION) announces that ten high school teams from across the U.S. will compete in the 2011 ION Mini-Urban Challenge National Competition to be held Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History from 10am to 5:15pm.

Sponsored by the Institute of Navigation and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the ION Mini-Urban Challenge is a national event that challenges high school students to work in teams to design and operate a robotic car, built from a LEGO® Mindstorms NXT kit, that can accurately navigate through a LEGO® city. The competition is intended to expose students to the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

More than 500 students from 50 high schools competed in five regional competitions held in Louisiana, Florida, California, Washington, DC and Ohio.  First and second place winners from each of the five ION Mini-Urban Challenge Regional Competitions will compete in the National Competition May 21st. High School teams include: Parkway High School, Bossier City, LA; West Monroe High School, West Monroe, LA;  Hagerty High School, Oviedo, FL; Pace High School, Pace FL West High School, Torrance, CA ; Knight High School, Palmdale, CA; Walkersville High School, Walkersville, MD; Fairfax High School, Fairfax, VA; Westerville North High School, Westerville, OH; and Aurora High School, Aurora, OH.

All events are open to the public and media. There is no admission fee.

The ION Mini-Urban Challenge, now in its third year, is designed to provide high school students, working with academic advisors and team mentors, experience in collaboration, problem solving, team building, and project and time management and acts to inspire and attract students to STEM fields.

Further details for the ION Mini-Urban Challenge are available at www.MiniUrbanChallenge.com

About ION
The Institute of Navigation is the world’s premier professional society dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of positioning, navigation and timing. The Institute is a national organization whose membership spans worldwide. Additional information about the ION can be found at http://www.ion.org.