Caldicott Boys Compete in the First Lego League Robotics Competition

04 December 2019

 

Throughout this term, boys in Years 6, 7 and 8 have been working towards competing in the First Lego League; a global robotics based life skills competition for young people. The competition encourages children to work together to explore a given topic, identify a physical or social problem and propose a solution, and to design, build and program an autonomous Lego robot to solve a series of missions. This year’s theme was ‘City Shaper’, ideas around architecture and the spaces we live in.

 

Two Caldicott teams recently competed in an FLL heat at the Institute of Engineering and Technology offices in Stevenage. It was a tense day with both teams overcoming early nerves as they went up against 12 other schools and another joining the event by videolink from Gibraltar. After a series of tasks: research project, presentation, develop and programme a robot, each team came home with a trophy for their efforts.

Using the theme of architecture, both teams chose to build something for their innovation projects rather than just look at theory. Team WBDMC planned a bike track to use on the school’s playing field and the CaldiCrafters built an eco-greenhouse. Both projects used recycled and reclaimed materials, mostly wooden builders’ pallets.

The CaldiCrafters made an outstanding case for why their project was not only innovative but also how it would help other students to grow plants in their spare time. This won them one of the main prizes of Best Project.

Team WBDMC made a detailed and convincing presentation about how they had built, coded and planned strategy for their robot. Such was the interest; the boys were asked about it by other teams on numerous occasions. On the robot field it was only narrowly outperformed but was judged to be the Best Robot Design.

A key part of FLL is interacting with and seeking advice from experts. This year the teams enjoyed video calls with robotics majors at Yale University and with the Director of Growwild at Kew Gardens as well as receiving encouraging feedback after reaching out to the Eden Project, the RHS, Garden Organic and the Swinley Mountain bike track amongst others. The teams were also very fortunate to spend time going over early ideas with a professional architect, Rebecca Querstret.

The boys would like to say a big thank you to Mr and Mrs Stone for their generous contribution towards the team polo shirts and another to Mr Mamai for his funding of two more EV3 robots so that more boys can use one in both class and in project work.

Caldicott has three more teams of Years 6 and 7 boys preparing for their FLL heat in January at the RAL Laboratory in Oxford.

Alongside traditional subjects, coding and robotics are at the forefront of the computing curriculum at Caldicott, helping to prepare the boys in becoming global citizens in the future.

 

Caldicott Boys Compete in the  First Lego League Robotics Competition

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