News Releases

Aurora Open & Innovation Showcase bigger than ever

January 25, 2019

Powered by Nebraska Public Power District

Aurora, Neb. – The 2019 Aurora Open & Innovation Showcase is set to be the biggest in the event’s history.

Outside of the US Open Championship, for robotics, this will be the largest and most unique CREATE Open Powered by Nebraska Public Power District event of the year. The robotics competition is taking place on Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Hamilton County Fairground from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

During the robotics competition, teams will be randomly paired with teams from other communities, to complete tasks and earn points.  “These students build some amazing robots, and in addition to learning technical skills, the students learn about leadership, communication, and sportsmanship ¬¬– all of which are demonstrated by NPPD employees on a day-to-day basis,” noted NPPD Careers Outreach Specialist Kim Liebig.

The Aurora Open will engage nearly 80 community volunteers and 51 robotics teams from Omaha North Magnet High School, Norfolk Junior High School, York Middle School, Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School, Benson Magnet High School, Columbus High School, Axtell High School, Holdrege Schools, St. Paul Public Schools, Nebraska Christian Schools, St. Edward High School, Hampton High School, Heartland Community High School, Cross County High School, Millard West High School, Lakeview High School and YETIbotics in Aurora.

In addition to the robotics competition, 10 innovation teams will be competing in an innovation showcase. As a part of the innovation showcase, two businesses from across Nebraska will be paired with a student team. The student team will then be tasked with building a product that can help meet the needs of both businesses. High school students, as well as students from Central Community College, the University of Nebraska Omaha and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be participating.

NPPD Senior Career Education Specialist Chad Johnson says, “The products made by the student teams will be judged, and the top ranked teams will present their product to a panel of Nebraska business representatives.”

Students will utilize NPPD’s STEM Connections Lab and other resources to build their products. “This event is designed to encourage community involvement, engage future employers and inspire business-to-business relationships,” added Johnson.