December event to feature hands-on STEM experiences and LEGO Robot Game


On Saturday, December 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Aliquippa Junior/Senior High School will be hosting STEM-minded students from across the region as they compete in the 2023 Western Pennsylvania FLL State Championship — the premier scholastic robotics competition in PA.

The Quip-Bots, Aliquippa’s robotics team, will be one of over 60 teams of students ages 9-18 putting their research, problem-solving, coding, and engineering skills to the test as they build and program a LEGO robot to navigate Robot Game missions. Winners will be determined across four equally weighted portions: three judged sessions (Core Values, Robot Design, & Innovation Project) and Robot Game performance.

“We’re thrilled to be the host for this exciting finale to a year of events that have given children across the region the opportunity to apply their minds, work together, and foster greater interest in STEM fields,” said Dr. Phillip K. Woods, Superintendent of Schools for Aliquippa School District. “We really want the community to show up for this, not only to support our own Quip-Bots but also to encourage every other student participating in this worthwhile endeavor.”

Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology) is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based programs.

“FIRST is an amazing organization that continues inspiring youth to want to learn about and pursue careers in science and technology,” said Robert Signorelli, STEM teacher at Aliquippa Elementary School. “From coding to engineering, this event allows kids to get involved and explore the innovation that will shape the world going forward.”

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has had a proven impact on STEM learning and skill-building well beyond high school. FIRST programs alumni gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers.

FIRST LEGO League introduces STEM to children through fun, real-world problem-solving experiences centered around a guided, global robotics program.

On November 18, the Quip-Bots also hosted competition for the current season. This year’s event was so popular that they had to open an afternoon session to accommodate over 35 teams. Woods added that the school owed a great deal of thanks to the Quip-Bots Parents Association and other community members who graciously volunteered their time.