The ICT department at Riverside College were recently invited by Alan Brown, Senior Public Engagement Officer at the Science & Technology Facilities Council to take part in the FIRST LEGO League Tournament hosted at Daresbury Laboratory.
The FIRST LEGO League is a global science and technology competition in which 250,000 young people take part each year. FIRST LEGO League teams are tasked with researching a real-world problem and developing a solution using robots. Teams must design, build and program a robot using Lego Mindstorms technology. This year’s theme was ‘Trash Trek’, based on the problem of recycling.
Participating teams included primary and secondary schools from across the North West. Teams of up to ten pupils were given a three part challenge; programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field, developing a solution to a problem they have identified, and following the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.
ICT students and staff at Riverside College were tasked with building obstacles that robots had to avoid to score points, including a trash compactor and Lego sorter. The Riverside team also took part in judging the tournament, focusing on core values, robot design, project work and mentoring.
Sandra Soffe, ICT Tutor at Riverside College, said “We all had great fun judging the different sections at the event and analysing how the candidates used team work to decide on strategy, building, programming, researching, choosing a problem and looking for an innovative solution.
“There was great anticipation when the competition was in full flow. The atmosphere was tense when finding out who had scored points in each area. There was Lego everywhere, even the trophies were made of it! It was a privilege to take part in such an event and I thank Alan at Daresbury Labs for both inviting us and for making us all feel very welcome.”