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Reading Girls' School

Reading Girls' School

Lego League Victory

The University of Reading invited us to participate in their first event.

On Thursday 10 January, nine students from years 7-11 competed in the First LEGO League Competition held at the University of Reading.

The first LEGO League originated in America but now holds competitions all over the world.  It is centred around how we can use robots to help solve real world problems while also encouraging students to be creative, work as a team and become more familiar with the applications of science and technology beyond the classroom.  The competition at the University was the first of its kind in this area, with 13 teams from various local schools taking part.

Preparation for the event began in October 2012, with the team members giving up their time after school with Miss Stoffels and Mrs Monk to build LEGO models, learn to programme the LEGO robot and complete a project based around the competition theme for this year of ‘Senior Solutions’. 

The competition consisted of four tasks which were judged equally. The robot game required students to programme a robot to complete various tasks and score as many points as they could in two and a half minutes.  All of the obstacles were constructed from LEGO and much of the preparation time was spent building these obstacles and programming the robot – a much more difficult task than we had anticipated!  We managed to reach the quarter final of this round and were astonished by the performances of some of the other robots in the competition.

Secondly the students took part in a robot design interview followed by the teamwork challenge which required the team to build a structure from six marshmallows and 30 strands of spaghetti that could hold an egg as high from the ground as possible, without talking to each other.  Proudly we built the only marshmallow structure that survived the entire day, and held the egg!

Finally, the ‘Senior Solutions’ project required students to investigate everyday problems that people associate with getting older and come up with an innovative solution to one of these problems and present it to a panel of judges.  Our students investigated this by administering questionnaires to a group of seniors and came up with the idea of a remote control which read out the button you were about to press when you hovered your finger over it. The students presented their project in the style of Dragon’s Den complete with wigs and a giant remote control costume.  This round was our greatest success and we were awarded with a trophy (made of LEGO!!) for the best project at the competition.

 The day was highly enjoyable and a great success for Reading Girls' School.  We look forward to more students at Reading Girls' getting involved with LEGO Robotics events in the future. Preparation for the next competition will begin in September; however Mrs Monk is currently holding a weekly lunchtime session where students can start to learn how to programme the robot. 

For further information about how you can get involved please contact Miss Stoffels or Mrs Monk.