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‘Bionic Wolves’ roar as Lego queens
Just on the heels of the International Women’s Day celebrations, it was the all-girls team “Bionic Wolves” of St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph that emerged champion of the FIRST LEGO League Championship at the National Cycling Velodrome in Balmain, Couva on March 10.
St Joseph's topped some 20 other teams and will go on to represent T&T at the first LEGO League World Festival held in Houston, Texas, USA, from April 18-21.
With a presence in 80 countries, this global programme is geared toward participants between the ages of 9 to 16 years, utilising theme-based challenges to engage children in research, problem solving, and engineering. The theme for this season was Hydro Dynamics, which explored what is possible when we understand what happens to our water – how we find, transport, use or dispose of it.
At the closing ceremony Dr Lovell Francis, Minister in the Ministry of Education extended congratulations to NIHERST and Social Investment Partner, Shell T&T Limited on the successful conclusion of the League, recognising "the students, mentors, teachers and volunteers who ensured that this was a rewarding and educational experience".
Shell’s External Relations advisor, Leslie Bowrin shared that, “Shell is extremely delighted to be associated with the FIRST LEGO League and the excitement and enthusiasm that the competition has generated, not only for the participating teams but for our members of staff, our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassadors, who volunteered as judges and referees. Our support for this competition is one component of our national STEM programme that aims to strengthen innovation, problem solving and critical thinking in our primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions.”
Teams were challenged to choose and solve a real-world Hydro Dynamics problem. They were also required to build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO Mindstorms technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game, and throughout their project and robot game experiences, to display the core values of discovery, teamwork, and professionalism.
In what was a very competitive season, several teams were awarded special prizes for Robot Design, Robot Performance and Core Values. Palo Seco Secondary School (Robotics Club) took away the Project Innovative Solution Award as well as the first place in the Robot Challenge. They have also advanced to the next round of the Global Innovation Awards- where teams are awarded for exemplary Project solutions.
Each FIRST LEGO League region nominates a team for this award whose solution epitomises innovation. Naparima College (NAPSTECH) won second place in the Robot Challenge, as well as the Core Values (Gracious ProfessionalismTM) Award; while Holy Name Convent (EBSIL HNC DeepMinds) landed the third place prize in the Robot Challenge and the Core Values (Inspiration) Award.
Independent team Smart Kids AQUA Tech took home the Mechanical Design Award while the Judges’ Award went to Trinity College, Moka (Cyber Nation).
Also present at the event were Shakka Subero, Member of the Board of Governors, NIHERST (National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology) and acting president of NIHERST, Sylvia Lalla, who commended the teams on their performance and teamwork during the season..
Registration is currently open for the 2018/19 season, which is themed "Into Orbitsm". For further information, contact the NIHERST’s Innovation Department at 663-6130 ext. 2501/2507 or [email protected], or Marketing Department at 642-6112 ext. 250/291 or [email protected] or visit http://www.niherst.gov.tt/scipop/first-lego-league.html.
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