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First Lego League ‘Senior Solutions’ Robotics Competition

26th & 27th November 2012

From the Wessex area 46 schools entered for this year’s competition over the two days. This was split by Primary School teams attending the Monday and Secondary Schools on the Tuesday. In addition the two teams with the best overall performance from each day went forward to the UK & Ireland National Final!

This event is a celebration of students work and their achievement. It promotes and supports science and technology in schools encouraging pupil interest and enthusiasm for Science and Technology subjects. It has encouraged an awareness and understanding of programming and control systems in schools which would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It has raised teachers’ confidence and ability to teach robotics in their schools and enthused pupils about science and technology.

The competition is split into 2 sections to generate enthusiasm for STEM subjects in schools,

The Project

Each team found a senior partner (over 60) and identified a problem faced by the over 60’s.

As a team the children created an innovative solution to that problem, shared this with others and created a presentation of their solution which was presented before the judges and fellow competitors. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session to ascertain marks for the team based on Team Work, Research, Innovative Solution and Presentation Skills.

The Robot

Each team has designed, built and programmed a robot from a ‘Lego Mindstorms’ kit, including software, motors and sensors, to carry out specific missions on a mat 8 feet by 4 feet containing Lego models. Each team has received their own performance mat and Lego pieces to fit on the mat and have practised back at school. This Award is judged by looking at the robot and programmes & asking questions of the team. Please read the mark sheet attached which has three sections; Mechanical design; Programming; and Strategy & Innovation.

Working as a judge over the two days was an amazing and enjoyable experience, some of the ideas the students come up with are amazing and quite original, even a few prospective clients for dragons den! Presentations ranged from Power Points to well choreographed song and dance routines, excellent opportunity to be involved in an environment that encourages young engineers and scientists of the future.