Expanded UCS ThunderQuest storms into Henry Ford II High School on November 16
Expanded UCS ThunderQuest storms into Henry Ford II High School on November 16
Posted on 11/12/2019
Student watching Lego robot

The largest regional competition for Lego Robotics in Michigan is now even larger.

Approximately 70 elementary and junior high school robotics teams from across the region will take part on November 16 in the annual UCS ThunderQuest, the largest FIRST LEGO League qualifying tournament in Michigan.

In addition to the FIRST LEGO League, ThunderQuest has been expanded to host  First Lego League Jr for students ages 6-10 and the FIRST Tech Challenge, a transition program between FIRST LEGO and the high school FIRST robotics challenge. Students from each of the district’s high school FIRST teams – The UCS ThunderChickens and Crevolution – are working together to help stage the event.

The lego teams will compete from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Henry Ford II High School, 11911 Clinton River Rd. in Sterling Heights. Fourteen of the teams will be from Utica Community Schools.

“The UCS ThunderQuest demonstrates again why UCS is a hotbed for robotics education,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “ThunderQuest involves our entire community in developing skills in our students that will be critical to their future, including coding, teamwork and problem solving.”

FIRST LEGO Robotics introduces younger students (ages 9-14) to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Project-based, hands-on FIRST programs promote coding, programming, and engineering in an environment where students work collaboratively to solve a yearly robotics challenge.

The ThunderQuest tournament will feature several competitions, including a tech presentation where students create an autonomous robotic vehicle that will follow a course on a 4’ x 8’ table. Students also compete in teamwork competitions and a display of a project that describes their solution for issues identified through the national “into orbit” space theme.

The top ten teams will advance to the state tournament this December.

FIRST Tech Challenge teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. The robot kit is reusable from year to year and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. 

Guided by adult coaches, FIRST LEGO League Jr students build models and create Show Me posters to present what they learned. The program focuses on building interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through a real-world challenge – to be solved by research, critical thinking, and imagination.


ThunderQuest is free to the public.