Lego League: Pupils in national final of technology contest

A team from Harton Primary School is going to the national finals of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's First Lego League.
A team from Harton Primary School is going to the national finals of the Institution of Engineering and Technology's First Lego League.

A GROUP of schoolchildren are putting building bricks in place for success after making the national final of a technology contest.

Youngsters from Harton Primary School in South Shields will travel to Loughborough University tomorrow to compete in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s First Lego League.

The team – made up of Deanna Ripley, Meya Allan, Nicole Clifford, Alex Healy, and James Campbell – will take on a series of challenges at the Leicestershire university in hope of making it to the global final in the US.

After triumphing in the regional final, the team, dubbed the Harton Puzzlers, aged from nine to 11, will compete against 35 others from across the UK.

Each team, made up of children aged nine to 16, was challenged to design and program a Lego Mindstorms robot and use it to solve various problems and carry out tasks.

At the national final, teams will be judged on their ability to build and program the robot, their presentation and research skills and how well they co-operate with each other and their competitors.

Steph Shaw, a teacher at the East Avenue school, said: “They also had to come up with a solution that would help someone, and they came up with the idea for a skipping rope that can be used by deaf and blind people.

“They’ve told the sight service about it, and they absolutely loved the idea.

“They’re so excited for the national final. I think it’s just me that’s nervous. They’re getting to stay in a hotel, so they can’t wait.”

The contest’s global final is set to be held at this year’s World Lego Festival in St Louis, Missouri.

Mrs Shaw added: “Getting to go to America would be such a huge opportunity for the kids.

“That’s the main prize, but there’s also a chance to go to Europe and some smaller prizes, so we’re really hoping to bring something back to the school.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki