LEGO League Tournament

LEGO League Tournament for local schools at West Highland College UHI

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School pupils from local schools competing in one of the heats of the Global LEGO league tournament hosted by us in Fort William last week.

We were delighted to host one of the Scottish heats in the Global LEGO league tournament in Fort William last week, when pupils from local schools aged 9-16 get to put their STEM Skills to the test by completing a series of problem-solving challenges using moving LEGO structures and robots.

The pupils from Gairloch High School and Inverlochy, Glencoe and St Brides Primary Schools all came to college to present the robots they had designed and built to complete various missions and presented their solutions to city based problems in the ‘City Shaper’ challenge this year.  They had to build robots that could lift and move constructions around a city map, as well as create their own innovation project.  The teams presented their robots and projects in the morning and in the afternoon a series of games took place to eventually select winners in a variety of categories.

The LEGO league is a global STEM challenge for 9-16 year olds, encouraging them to take an interest in real-world themes and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers.

There were various challenges and trophies to be won on the day…

Champions Award – Inverlochy Innovators

Robot Games Trophy – Inverlochy Innovators

Core Values Trophy – Kelpie Robotics (St Brides PS)

Robot Design Trophy – Destiny (Glencoe PS)

Innovation Project Trophy – Universe (Glencoe PS)

Judges Award for performance on the day – Gairloch High

The event was co-ordinated at the college by Claire Thomson, Course Leader for Construction, Built Environment and Engineering. Claire explained: "The teams are all given challenge sets and the missions as well as a standard EV robot and LEGO.  They then need to think about how to adapt the robot to carry out the missions more quickly since they have 13 missions and only 2 and a half minutes.  The theme for the challenges this year is "Cityscapes" and gets the kids thinking about issues that arise in built-up areas and how to combat them.  They're not just making a robot do things, but giving it a context to learn and think about issues that they could find solutions for." 

Event organiser Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) is holding 10 tournaments across Scotland with the best teams from each gong to the Scottish finals.  The director of ESP, Jim Brown, helped out at the tournament and is enthusiastic about the competition.  "This competition means you need a team that has complementing skills.  Someone who is good at programming, engineering the robot, but also skills like organisation to make sure things get done properly and research skills for the innovation project."

This is the first time the tournament has been held in Lochaber.  When the tournament returns, West Highland College UHI is hoping to have tournaments at as many locations as possible across its centres to allow as many schools as possible from the area to take part.

Overall winners on the day were Inverlochy Innovators with Universe (Glencoe Primary) being placed 2nd, so both will go through to the Scottish Final in Perth on February 29th.  From that competition, three successful teams could go to compete in Brazil, USA or Greece.  We wish all the teams the very best of luck.

In partnership with ESP Scotland, First Lego League UK and Ireland and The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).