The FIRST LEGO League Leinster finals took place at the Lego® Education Innovation Studio (LEIS), Dublin City University on Saturday, January 27th attended by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD.
Students from seven schools in the Dublin and Leinster region came together for the day-long tournament to demonstrate their robotics and coding skills and showcase their solutions to tackle world water issues as part of the research theme Hydrodynamics.
Rosmini Community School, Drumcondra were crowned the FIRST LEGO League Champions for their project Hydroheads.
St Columba’s College, Whitechurch won the Robot Game category.
The Disney Droids team from St Mary’s Secondary School, Glasnevin won the Robot Design category.
The High School, Zion Road won the Research Project category.
The Water Warriors team from St Mary’s Secondary School, Glasnevin won the Core Values project.
The event, which encourages children to develop skills in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in a fun and innovative way, was organised by the Lego® Education Innovation Studio (LEIS)and Learnit with support from Science Foundation Ireland.
In advance of the finals, each team spent over four months designing, building and programming an automated robot using LEGO Mindstorms, which they then had to put into action at the tournament, to meet a number of challenges in a robot game.
Each team’s robot was presented to a panel of judges who assessed the project on design, coding skills and mission strategy.
Among the solutions in the Hydrodynamics research project was the development of an app to measure water usage; the creation of a branded water bottle for TY students in order to reduce the use of non-reusable water bottles and a modified tap to sound an alert when it has been used too much.
Professor Deirdre Butler, DCU Institute of Education said:
“The FIRST LEGO League tournament provides an opportunity for young people to identify real issues in their local communities and to design and implement solutions that address real-world problems.
Engaging with such project based learning experiences, develops in young people key STEM competences such as critical thinking, collaboration and use of digital technologies for real-world problem-solving.
We were blown away by the level of engagement, creativity and quality of the work demonstrated by the students.”
Ross Maguire, Learnit said:
“The FIRST LEGO League is so much more than a robotics competition; it is a platform for students to discover the world of STEM and collaborate on real-world problems, discover solutions and put them into practice.
These students have taken the first step to becoming tomorrow’s innovators, creators and problem solvers.
Earlier this month the Department of Education announced the first cohort of schools that will begin delivering Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject, and participating schools have already taken the first step in preparing their students for this new course.”
Diarmuid McNamara, a teacher from Rosmini Community School said:
“The FIRST LEGO League has been incredibly beneficial for our students. As an engineering teacher I strive to get the students more interested in all aspects of engineering.
This project has engaged students in mechanical design and construction, programming, problem-solving, research and teamwork. It also gives students who may never have thought about a career in STEM an insight into what it might look like.
We have students taking part in the project, who as a result have taken time this year to visit college open days with their parents to find out more about engineering, computer science and coding and who previously never considered pursuing STEM in further education.”