Students Unearth Solutions to Living in Space at LEGO League Regional Heat

21 January 2019 | College News, Engineering, Automotive & Marine, Media, Games & Computing

From building blocks to airlocks, teams of students from across Devon and Cornwall competed in the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament, sponsored and hosted by City College Plymouth on Friday 18 January .

For the regional heat, 17 teams of nine to 16 year olds were tasked with identifying a physical or social problem faced by humans during long duration space exploration.The event, held in the College’s Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), was a chance to showcase the various skills they had developed during the months of preparation.

This year’s real world problem saw students learn what you would need

to stay alive, healthy and happy while living and working in outer space in the FIRST® LEGO® League INTO ORBITSM  Challenge. Teams had to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication, as well as needing to demonstrate the FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values, which include respect and friendly competition.

There are 57 IET FIRST® LEGO® League tournaments taking place across the UK and Ireland. These are fun and exciting events where the teams have to put their robot through its paces, and communicate their ideas, sharing what they have learnt with the judges. Friday’s judging panel was made up of representatives from local businesses in the STEM sector.

The day culminated in an awards ceremony set-up by City College’s live events students in the College’s STEM Theatre. The trophies made from LEGO shone beneath the lights as TEAM WELL-TEC from Wellington Home Educators were announced as the overall champions. The team will be heading to Bristol for the UK and Ireland Final at the University of West of England (UWE) on 16 February 2019. This will be an opportunity for the top achieving teams to represent their country and the IET on a global stage, competing at International Championships in Turkey and the USA.

Andy Robinson-Noades, the IET’s FIRST® LEGO® League Coordinator, said: “I have been so impressed by the standard of ideas, level of team work and skill everyone has shown here today. Seeing so many young people show such enthusiasm for STEM subjects is really exciting. We were delighted to work with the schools and City College Plymouth on the INTO ORBIT℠ Challenge and hope today’s event has inspired some of these young people to consider a career in STEM. We wish TEAM WELL-TEC the best of luck in the UK and Ireland final.”

FIRST® LEGO® League is part of a wider IET education programme, made up of a whole host of teaching resources and activities to inspire and attract the engineers of tomorrow.

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