FIRST LEGO League was established in 1998 to engage children and young people in playful and meaningful learning while helping them discover the fun in science and technology.
The Year 8 students, who are part of Budehaven’s popular Lego Club, entered this international competition back in September and in January they were crowned regional champions at an event in Plymouth.
As part of the competition the students were asked to research a real-world problem in the human water cycle and then they were challenged to develop a solution to the problem. They also had to design, build and program a robot using LEGOMINDSTORMS technology, which they then used to compete against other teams on a table-top playing field.
You can see the students in action here.
Team Deep Thought (as the students have named themselves) competed against fifty-four other teams, in an exciting day-long event. Although the group didn’t pick up any prizes on Saturday they received great comments from the judges about their attitude to the competition and their ideas for their competition project.
Team Deep Thought’s competition project outlined the teams plans to rid Budehaven School of single-use water bottles. The team have designed a simple refill system which has a technological twist – the system will enable students to record their water refills using their school catering card and take part in a regular competition identifying top student re-fillers. [watch this space for more details]
During the regional stage of the competition, students have shared their ideas with local environmental organisations including The Environment Agency, Bude Cleaner Seas Project and the 2 minute Beach Clean, who all gave their full support to Team Deep Thought and their project.
As part of the team’s preparation for the national final they also gained support for the project from some high profile national organisations:
“Bude is right at the forefront of the campaign against single-use plastics, and at Eden, we’re thrilled to learn about this project to tackle one of the most important issues that the world is facing today.”
Gordon Seabright, CEO, Eden Project
“What a brilliant way to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic used in schools, we are fortunate enough to have superb drinking water in this country so it’s fantastic to see such a great idea from young people.”
Emma Cunningham, Pollution Team, Marine Conservation Society
“The work you guys are doing is incredible and very well thought through. I like the element of competition the RFID system brings to filling up your water bottle, the best way to inspire people to change is often to make it fun. This system would be really fun and produce really interesting results which I am sure would inspire other schools to follow your lead.”
Ellie Ewart, Education & Design Officer, Surfers Against Sewage
Clear & compelling identification of the problem being addressed: improving the human water cycle, and the plastic pollution it can cause. Innovative solution designed to make use of existing technologies in a novel way: aiming to enable a positive change in behaviour whilst, presumably, saving on cost. Interested to see how the project evolves and if its gets piloted. Fundamentally, it’s super heartening to see such deep thought going into school projects like this.
David Addison, Manager, Virgin Earth Challenge
“I particularly liked the fact that Team Deep Thought used the RFID card that students already carry as this reduces the barrier to get involved. A cheap and practical approach to a very serious problem.”
Dave Patten, Head of New Media – Science Museum, London
The team are hoping they can get further support and help in and out of school so that they can get their project up and running at Budehaven.
Team members are Dan, Bea, Isaac, Arne, Marlo and Kai