Press Release

Robotics Challenge: Tin Can Do It!

Middle School Students Use Robotics to Explore History

NEW ORLEANS (April 26, 2013) — On May 11, The National WWII Museum will host its first Robotics Challenge, an exciting opportunity for middle school students to develop 21st century skills and participate in active problem solving based on real-life scenarios from WWII. This regional student robotics competition will serve as a signature piece of the Museum’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) initiative aimed at encouraging young people to explore opportunities in science and math.

The program will utilize the LEGO® MINDSTORM® platform used by established middle school robotics teams. The Museum’s robotics competition will give 33 teams from middle schools across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama an opportunity to continue honing their skills in design, computer programming, teamwork, critical thinking and research.

“The National WWII Museum is actively seeking creative ways to integrate dynamic STEM curriculum into our K-12 educational programs, lessons, and learning opportunities. This initiative is mission driven, multi-faceted, and will expand the Museum’s K-12 audience to include math and science students and teachers,” said Kenneth Hoffman, director of education for the Museum. “The ultimate goal is to become a serious participant in the national effort to create a more STEM-fluent citizenry, thereby strengthening our communities and our country.”

The theme of the Robotics Challenge for 2013 will be “Life on the Home Front.” Robotics teams of up to 10 middle school students with one adult coach will build an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and score points by completing objectives on a WWII-themed playing field. Mission objectives for the robots include scrapping metal by placing a tin can in a collection bin, collecting crops from the Museum’s Victory Garden by moving plastic vegetables, and building military equipment by placing the turret on a Sherman tank model. In addition, teams will complete a project on a current conservation problem based on the scrapping efforts on the home front during WWII.

The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. Robot matches will run from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 2:00 p.m. All events are free and open to registered teams and competition volunteers. Registration is now closed, as the 2013 Challenge is full. For more information please click here or contact Annie Tête at or 504-528-1944 x 315.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.