Following our exploration last year of the world of LEGO Robotics competitions, we returned this year with an expanded two teams and 17 pupils from Years 4 to 8, eager and ready to take on the FIRST LEGO League “City Shaper” challenge.

The FIRST LEGO League is an international competition which has more than 300,000 participants across 98 countries.

The competition has three parts: the Robot Game, the Innovation Project and the Core Values.

The Robot game involves building and programming a robot to perform tasks on a two-dimensional map with three-dimensional LEGO structures placed on top.  This year’s challenges involved building towers, operating cranes and driving up narrow ramps to match this year’s theme of city construction.

The Innovation Project involved designing a solution to a problem that the students themselves have identified connected to construction and presenting it to a panel of judges.

Finally, judges assessed the Core Values demonstrated by the pupils throughout the day, they were looking for competitors to demonstrate: Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork and Fun.

This year Tom and Hugo led our teams and they were excellent throughout, not just because of their competition and robotics experience, but also because they allowed other students to take the lead and take the credit for their own particular achievements.  This was especially true of the Innovation Projects and presentations which were driven through by James and Sophie with considerable help from Emma, Lucy, Cecily and Rory.

There was also a tremendous approach to sharing the experiences and opportunities and for lots of different pupils to pilot the robot under competition conditions. A special mention should go to our Year 4 pupils, who were some of the youngest competitors at the event and competed together to get one of our top scores.

The whole team had a great time and have had their eyes opened to the capabilities and possibilities of robotics as well as practicing some incredibly useful life skills.

Though we were disappointed not to win, we were determined to come back stronger next year!