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Daily Israel Report

Jewish and Arab Youth to Compete on Lego Robotic Construction

Jewish and Israeli Arab youths compete together in the Galilee village of Tamra on Thursday in regional semi-finals for Lego robotic construction.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 2/23/2010, 2:26 PM / Last Update: 2/23/2010, 2:34 PM

courtesy of FIRST

Jewish and Arab youths will compete together in the Israeli Arab village of Tamra on Thursday in the semi-final competition for Lego robotics construction. The northern community is hosting the regional division contest for the first time as part of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League.

The competition itself is being held in Israel for the sixth time, and will run from 9:00 a.m. To 5:30 p.m at the Abu Romi High School. The event is being seen as one that will strengthen relations between the two groups, according to a statement released to the media by the Government Press Office.

Some 18 teams, all from the north, will be competing in the event, with the top 30 percent moving on to the finals in Tel Aviv.

The FIRST Lego League (FLL) is an international robotics program designed to spark interest among youth ages 9 to 14 in research, science and technology. The children are taught to build autonomous robots using engineering concepts, while learning to overcome obstacles, build confidence and self-esteem. More than 90,000 children in 45 countries around the world are involved in the program.

Tamra (“date palm” in Arabic) is located in the lower Galilee, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Akko (Acre), and is home to some 27,000 people, nearly all Muslim Arabs, almost half under the age of 20.