The RGS Robotics Club recently competed in the First Lego League tournament held at Kent University, at Canterbury. They went up against a dozen other local schools in a series of challenges.
The Robotics Club has been working to prepare for this event for many months by meeting together during lunchtimes and afterschool. They were led by Mr Jackson and Sixth Form student David Fadare who served as the coach for the team.
The theme for this year was “Into Orbit”. The team researched and presented on the challenges of space flight and focused their efforts on how a base could be built on Mars. They further explained the steps that would be necessary to terraform the planet to support human life. Although they were under intense pressure in front of the judging panel the students were impressively calm and confidently presented their ideas and research.
They then competed in the robotics portion of the tournament by designing, building, and programming a robot made from Lego technic pieces. The robot had to complete a series of tasks within a certain time frame. The students then explained the design of their robot to a panel of judge. In true RGS style they incorporated a number of Thinking Maps into their presentation to show the steps taken in the design process.
The team excelled on the teamwork portion of the event. Half the team was a shown a complex structure made of many different Lego bricks of various sizes and colours. They then had to instruct the other half of the team, who hadn’t seen the structure, how to assemble it from the many disassemble parts. Our students quickly devised a strategy to divide the task into small portions for which each member was responsible. They perfectly completed the task in an astonishingly short period of time. The judges were very impressed how they made this task seem effortless and awarded them the first-place trophy for demonstrating the Core Values of Teamwork.
Many of the students for this event have been members of the Robotics Club since its start three years ago. The year 7 students in the Robotics Club are currently learning the basics of the programming software, so they can participate in the upcoming Tomorrow’s Engineers Lego Robotics competition that will be held in February.