Lego experts Shanklea are just champion!
February 5, 2020
A team of pupils from Shanklea Primary School are victorious after being one of seven Northumberland schools put their problem solving and team work skills to the test at Northumberland’s first ever FIRST LEGO League Tournament.
Now Regional Champions, the Shanklea team have secured themselves a place in the UK Finals taking place in Bristol on 22 February 2020.
Organised by Northumberland County Council, the FIRST LEGO League Tournament took weeks of planning and preparation from the schools involved. Pupils were required to design, build and programme their own robots out of lego and compete in teams to solve a series of problems, as well as complete a landmark building challenge and present a sustainable building proposal to a panel of judges.
The pupils, aged 9-16, attended in teams from Burnside Primary School, Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School, Meadowdale Academy, Richard Coates C of E Primary School, Steadlane Primary School, Shanklea Primary School and Tweedmouth Middle School.
This year’s tournament theme was around building and sustainability, and was held at Sage UK in Great Park, Gosforth.
Cllr Wayne Daley, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that is helping our young people get involved in STEM activities including aspects of science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been brilliant to see the young people of Northumberland come together with their robots that they have spent weeks working on to compete for the first time.”
Sage UK provided sponsorship for Northumberland schools’ entry costs and for the winning team to travel to the national final in Bristol later this month. The Reece Foundation also provided sponsorship by providing kits for schools to prepare for the tournament.
Lindsay Phillips, FIRST LEGO League champion for Sage UK, said: “ It’s really important that we get STEM into young age schoolchildren, both boys and girls. The war on talent is immense at the moment, particularly in the North East, which is a hot bed of tech. If we can get kids involved in coding from an early age it means we stand a better chance of breaking down that talent wall and creating a bigger supply of brilliant minds coming into the industry.”
Medals of participation were awarded to all schoolchildren who participated in the tournament, and key awards were presented at the end of the day. Winners included:
- Core Values Award – Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School
- Robot Design Award – Richard Coates C of E Primary School
- Robot Games Award – Tweedmouth Middle School (Team 1)
- Innovation Project Award – Tweedmouth Middle School (Team 2)
- Judges Award for the most improved scores over the tournament – Steadlane Primary School
- Regional Champions – Shanklea Primary School
Around 20 school teams from across Northumberland will be taking part in the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Tournament for schoolchildren aged 6-9 on 26 June 2020 at Sage UK in Great Park, Gosforth.
The next FIRST LEGO League Tournament for Northumberland schoolchildren is expected to take place in January 2021, and the county council are reaching out to local businesses for potential sponsorship opportunities. For more information contact Jordan.Graham@northumberland.