The World Championship of Robotics and Innovation “FIRST® LEGO® League Virtual Open International” will be held for the first time in Greece from 24 to 27 June 2021. The competition will be organized by Eduact in cooperation with the Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, FIRST and LEGO Education under the auspices of the Ministry of Digital Governance, the National Committee Greece 2021 and the National Olympic Committee and Academy. This is the first time that a Greek organization has taken over the organization of the event. The World Championships will be held this year in hybrid conditions and will be broadcast from the premises of the NOESIS Science Dissemination Centre and Technology Museum.
200 teams from 110 different countries will compete as part of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution. Among them are 27 teams from Greece. A total of 2,000 children will compete digitally combining synchronous and asynchronous processes to present their projects in the Robot Game and Game Changer – Powered by STAR categories.
At the opening ceremony, which will take place on Thursday 24.6 at 20:00, the public will have the opportunity to meet the teams and have fun in a spectacular show that will include live music and visual arts events. The opening event as well as the rest of the proceedings can be followed via live streaming at https://event.fllopengreece.com/.
At the Press Conference held on June 22, 2021 at the building of the K.E.D.E.A. of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Mr.Konstantinos Vassiliou, President of Eduact, noted that the goal of this year’s competition is to communicate the message of the thousands of children who have continued to innovate in STEM & Robotics during this difficult year, keeping the flame of the FIRST® LEGO® League community alive.
Kim Wierman, Director of the FIRST® LEGO® League noted that despite the difficult circumstances, teams from many countries are participating in the competition again this year, and made special mention of the significantly increased number of girls. For her part, Ms. Camilla Bottke, Head of Competitions at Lego Education, noted that despite the digital format of this year’s competition, the interest of the students taking part in this celebration of technology and science remains undiminished.
Support for the event was shown by representatives from public and private bodies who attended the press conference. In particular, Mr. Angelos Haristeas, Deputy Head of Digital Policy in the Region of Central Macedonia and central ambassador of the championship, expressed his desire to hold the competition in 2022 in person in Thessaloniki and believes that the ideas of these children can contribute to the creation of a better future. Mr. Efstratios Stylianidis, Vice Rector for Research and Lifelong Learning of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, said that the world championship will give motivation and opportunities to young children, while through such actions there will be great benefits for our country.
In her address, Mrs. Ioanna Kosmopoulou, Deputy Mayor of Education of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, stressed the importance of the event in bringing together people from all over the world, having Thessaloniki as a reference point. Then, Mr. Athanasios Kontonikolaou, Director General of NOESIS, stressed that the competition gives the necessary impulses of solvency and credibility that our country emits and must continue to emit at international level.
Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotou, Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism and Media of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and head of the Research Journalism Laboratory, which has undertaken the organization of the communication of the event, stressed that the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki could not be absent from such an event, since the Universities of Thessaloniki have for years been the best ambassadors of innovation and science for our country.
Finally, Mr. Panagiotis Kountouras, who has undertaken, together with his team, the directorial supervision of the competition, stressed that the aim of the participants is to make the event an experience for children, who will also become guides – participants of the whole innovation effort in which Eduact has been successfully engaged over the years.
A major supporter of the event is the Region of Central Macedonia – Vice Region of Digital Governance and the golden sponsor is KLEEMANN. Sponsors are the companies INTRASOFT International, TITAN, DIOS, ELPE, Avance. The communication sponsor is Nickelodeon. Scientific Partner of the competition is O3 – Out of the Ordinary. The Regional Union of Municipalities of Central Macedonia, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Consulate General of Thessaloniki and the US Embassy in Athens, the Science Dissemination Center and Museum of Technology – NOESIS and the Hellenic Gold Company.
In the video below you can see highlights from the Press Conference