After weeks of team working, problem solving, designing programming and building robots, eleven students who have been taking part in the Lego Robotics co-curricular activity at Nexus gathered at Newquay’s RAF St Mawgan base to compete in a regional competition. BBC Spotlight was at the event, interviewing one of our students, Ruby M, for the programme.
Eight local schools from all over Devon and Cornwall battled it out to complete a set of engineering challenges using Lego. The day consisted of five different challenges, with one of them only being given to the students on the day.
The first challenge was the robot speed drag race, this involved the robots to go as fast as they could over a given distance.
The second challenge was the robot challenge. This involved the robots completing a series of five challenges, on a set out mat, within five minutes. This included: a thirty second dance; collecting two engines that were randomly placed within the mat; collecting the engineer and his cart then placing him in the working area; collecting the humanitarian aid and the robot ramp challenge. All of these tasks these had to be programmed and the robots designed to complete as many tasks as possible prior to the event.
The third challenge was to present research to the RAF judging panel. The topic selected by the students was ‘Drones’. The three CSIA students presented this and had amazing feedback, blowing the judging panel away with their “knowledge, insight and enthusiasm” about the topic.
The fourth challenge tested the team on their robot design. This involved the students having to explain how and why they come up with their robot design. They also had to explaining the code that they had programmed and why they had done it this way. The team shone in this challenge with their outstanding coding skills being apparent to the panel.
The fifth challenge was a team challenge. Unlike the other challenges where students could prepare on the build-up to the competition. This was an unknown challenge that was given to the teams on the day. The team had to design a device that would go around an obstacle course holding a cup of water. The students would get points for speed and time deductions for spilling any water.
The day ended with an awards ceremony. The CSIA Team won the prestigious Best Robot Design award. The day was a fun, exciting day out, which allowed the students to work with skilled engineers from the RAF and learn more about the exciting possibilities of STEM careers.