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How did our primary and secondary students perform during the FIRST LEGO League hosted at Lakeside in March 2019? We catch up with Timothy Studlo, Digital Literacy Coach Pre-K to grade 12, to find out more.

How did teams prepare for the competition?

Preparation for this year’s FIRST Lego League competition saw teams from both primary and secondary school meeting weekly across a period of seven months. These weekly meetings were a necessity, as students explored the basics of coding, and developed key engineering skills that would help them discover innovative solutions to solve competition missions.

There are two components to the competition: the robot game portion and finding a solution to a complex problem. This year’s challenge was to come up with an innovative solution to a challenge that astronauts experience in space.

Space challenges that were addressed included how to sleep in space, diet, waste disposal, orbital sustainability and how to exercise in an environment with zero gravity. Teams spent a lot of time researching their topic of choice and coming up with innovative solutions. Potential solution(s) were presented via powerpoint and/or a custom built model to a panel of judges during the final competition. To ensure students were ready, each team practised their presentation several times in front of their peers and sought feedback to refine their pitch for the actual competition.

Were there any unforeseen challenges?

Along the way, there were many unforeseen challenges - especially in the area of success rate. When working with robots, you have to be extremely precise and accurate in your setup every time you attempt a mission. If the code is off by one command or the robot is pointing in a slightly different direction, you will fail the mission and have to start all over again. This challenge can only be overcome with patience and practice.

What did your team learn from participating in this competition?

Looking back at the competition our teams learned the valuable lesson of preparation. A lot of effort went into preparing for the competition. Preparing your materials, robots, costumes, presentation, as well as preparing yourself mentally for the pressure you’re inevitably going to face. We’ve realised that as we move forward, we’d like to expose our teams to more competition-like environments to be better prepared for the big competition.

FIRST Lego League awards:

  • TK primary: Gracious Professionalism Runner Up
  • Lakeside secondary: Excellence in Strategy and Planning

Teams and participants

[TK primary teams]

[Lakeside primary and secondary teams]

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