The IET’s FIRST® LEGO® League takes place at Ayrshire College

The IET’s FIRST® LEGO® League takes place at Ayrshire College

School pupils from across Ayrshire competed in the IET’s FIRST® LEGO® League competition at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus on Friday 14 December.

Pupils from Alloway Primary, Braehead Primary, Holmston Primary, Kincaidston Primary, Tarbolton Primary, Greenwood Academy, and Stewarton Academy entered the finals at the Kilmarnock Campus. The pupils were assisted on the day by staff and student volunteers from Ayrshire College, as well as leading engineering employers GE Caledonian and MAHLE.

The competition for 9-16 year olds, organised in partnership with ESP, involved creating autonomous LEGO® robots which the pupils would then programme to complete a series of timed challenges under the watchful eyes of the judges at Ayrshire College.

Scoring was based on whether the robot was able to successfully complete a challenge as a result of how the pupils had programmed them. If the pupils needed to intervene and re-adjust the robot’s movements, points were deducted from their team.

The teams were also required to give presentations on their robotic creations, which were put together using LEGO® Mindstorms kits, to a panel of judges.

The awards of each individual challenge were:

  • Robot Performance – Stewarton Academy.
  • Robot Design – Greenwood Academy.
  • Project – Tarbolton Primary.
  • Core Values – Kincaidston Primary.

The Champion award on the day was Stewarton Academy.

Ged Freel, Head of Learning and Skills – Business and Computing at Ayrshire College, said “This event has been a fantastic showcase of how fun and exciting engineering and computing can be.

“There was great enthusiasm shown by every school involved in Ayrshire’s FIRST® LEGO® League competition, and hopefully this event will help to encourage the pupils to think about pursuing a career in technology.”

Rachel Tulloch, Project Support Manager – Engineering for ESP, said “ESP works on behalf of Scotland’s colleges to promote energy, engineering and construction sectors, working with member colleges and key partners across Scotland to promote the STEM agenda.  One of our aims is to work with partners to promote STEM sectors as careers of choice and develop seamless pathways through schools to college to university.  At ESP we feel The IET’s First Lego League provides an excellent opportunity for children to develop the skills needed for these jobs of the future and to develop a flexible, project-based approach to learning. ESP are delighted to be IET’s new delivery partners for FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr in Scotland.”

Daniel Fitzsimmons, Mechanical Maintenance Engineer at MAHLE, said “It was great to see the young participants enjoying themselves and getting hands-on with the technical aspects of the challenge. Robotics engineering can be difficult to understand, but working with the LEGO® has helped to simplify it for the pupils.”

Scott Sweeney, Toolmaker at MAHLE, said “It’s been great fun. Initially I thought it would be difficult for the primary school teams to compete at this competition against older teams, but they all performed brilliantly. It just goes to show if you have the right attitude and apply yourself, you’ll do well.”

20 December 2018


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