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Winners Crowned at LEGO League Regional Heat
Proving that LEGO is more than just child’s play, on Friday 12 January teams of students from across Devon and Cornwall competed in the IET FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament, sponsored and hosted by City College Plymouth.
For the regional heat, teams of nine to 16 year olds were tasked with designing, building and programming a robot to tackle a series of missions and creating an innovative solution to a real world problem. 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 all about water and how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it in the FIRST®LEGO® League HYDRO DYNAMICSSM 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 45 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 including: the National Marine Aquarium, Mayflower 400, Babcock and Plymouth City Council.
The day culminated in an awards ceremony set-up by City College’s live events students in the STEM Theatre. The trophies made from LEGO shone beneath the lights as Budehaven Community School were announced as the winners. The team will be heading to Bristol for the UK and Ireland Final at the University of West of England (UWE) on 24 February 2018. 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 Hungary, Estonia and the USA in 2018
“It’s been a fantastic day,” said a parent of the winning team. “I’ve loved it and so have the kids. They’ve done amazingly well and have had a great time chatting to the other schools and showing off their robot. We were so surprised to win; this was not something they ever expected. The kids are very excited to go to Bristol and I’m sure it will be a brilliant experience for them.”
Andy Robinson, City College’s STEM Hub Officer, said: “The College is committed to enhancing STEM skills in the region and part of that is encouraging young people to explore the fun side of these subjects. We were delighted to work with the schools on FIRST® LEGO® League and it was so great to see all of the innovative solutions they came up with in the regional heat. We wish Budehaven Community School the best of luck in the UK 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.