Last weekend, a team from Leith Primary School won the regional final of the First Lego League, beating 17 other teams (both primary and secondary) to secure their place in the UK and Ireland final next month. The all-girl team, made up of one student from primary seven, two from primary six and two from primary five, won a trophy and £1000 for their school at the competition.
This year, the theme of the project strand of the competition was ‘Trash Trek’. Teams were asked to identify a problem with the way that waste is handled and then design a solution to the problem using Lego Mindstorm materials. Another strand of the competition saw the team creating and programming a robot to take part in a robot game. Students were interviewed by Lego judges to find out about their core values as a team as well as their technical understanding.
The First Lego League club is run at Leith Primary School by the Headteacher, Mr Alasdair Friend, who has overseen it for the last six years and who accompanied the two teams from his school to the recent competition. He is very enthusiastic about First Lego League and believes that it helps learners in a variety of ways, developing team work and language skills as well as building on their computational thinking and problem-solving skills. He has witnessed notable improvements in the language acquisition of the EAL members of the team and thinks believes that it is a very worthwhile project to take part in.
Becoming increasingly popular in Scotland, Mr Friend says that there is always a great atmosphere at the First Lego League competitions and he is looking forward to the team having fun at the finals in Loughborough on 21st February.
Speaking about the competition, Mr Friend said: “I am delighted the girls team from Leith Primary did so well. They are great role models for girls achieving in science, technology, engineering and maths.”
The winning team members said:
“We feel really proud because it was our first time in the Lego team.”
“It was so surprising to win because we thought our robot wasn’t doing so well at the end.”
“I have learned more about computers doing Lego club.”
“I have met new friends and it’s helped with my maths.”
For more information about First Lego League, see the website here: http://firstlegoleague.theiet.org/