Recently, nine Bradford Academy learners represented the school as a team of LEGO engineers and competed against 19 other schools at the First Lego League regional finals held at The University of Bradford.
The First Lego League is a robotics competition for 8-16 year olds that promotes working in teams to solve problems and have fun. The team designed and built their robots and learned how to programme a robot using Lego Mindstorms. The team met up after school for an hour every Monday during the autumn term in preparation to showcase their achievements in the finals. The learners worked with a University of Bradford STEM Outreach Assistant who helped with the technical aspects of the programming.
On the day of the finals, the learners competed on a table-top playing field called a mat. The theme for this year was Animal Allies. The learners have up to 10 challenges to complete in 2 minutes. The learners had to develop critical thinking and team-building skills to solve the challenges.
Alongside the mat challenges, the team had to create and present a research project to a panel of university lecturers. Their project was based on the use of parrots to help the visually-impaired. Although this sounds slightly peculiar, a member of the judging panel explained to us that he was undertaking his PhD project in a similar area and he has even offered to come to the school and talk in more detail about it. The learners presented very well and were able to answer questions about the subject eloquently and passionately.
They also had to take part in a ‘Core Values’ contest. They were given a tray of Lego pieces and a set of instructions and were judged on how well they worked as a team to build the Lego set. Our learners came second in this section.
The group have been entered for a follow up competition in April.