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Vocations and talent

Controlling natural disasters – a challenge for more than 200 young people in a new edition of the FIRST LEGO League

For the first time, the tournament, which is now in its fourth edition, took place over a two-day period due to the large number of teams participating.

13/01/2014

The local tournament of the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) was held over the weekend of 11 and 12 January 2014 at the University of Girona’s Polytechnic School. The theme of this year’s challenge is “Nature's Fury” and its aim is to control natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural phenomena.

 

Day one

The “Mini Salvauth Park” team from Girona won first prize on day one of the FIRST LEGO League robotic tournament.

The other winners of the day were:

  • The Coach Award went to Antirobota from the Frederic Martí Carreras Secondary School in Palafrugell
  • The Promising Young People Award went to Campalanets from the Rafael Campalans Secondary School in Anglès
  • The Scientia Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship went to Meteorite’s 2K14 from the Santa Coloma de Farners Secondary School in Santa Coloma de Farners
  • The FIRST LEGO League Values Award went to Dynamik from the Els Estanys School in Platja d’Aro
  • The Robot Behaviour Award went to Bell-lloc Llumipaig from the Bell-lloc del Pla School in Girona
  • The Robot Design Award went to Lego Nostrum from the Casa Nostra School in Porqueres-Banyoles
  • The Scientific Project Award went to AD99 from the Alexandre Deulofeu Secondary School in Figueres
  • The Scientia Foundation Award, which grants access to the FLL Nature’s Fury Grand Finale in Spain, to be held on 22 March in Barcelona, went to Mini Salvauth Park from Girona.

 

Day two

The team “Robotnick” from Palafrugell won first prize on the second day of the FIRST LEGO League robotic tournament.

The other winners of the day were:

  • The Coach Award went to the iSantFeliu Team from the Sant Feliu de Guíxols Secondary School in Sant Feliu de Guíxols
  • The Promising Young People Award went to Future Generation from Cassà de la Selva
  • The Scientia Foundation Award for Entrepreneurship went to Generació XXI from La Salle Cassà in Cassà de la Selva
  • The FIRST LEGO League Values Award went to Robobosc from the Bosc de la Coma Secondary School in Olot
  • The Robot Behaviour Award went to Eugenial 2014 from the Santa Eugènia Secondary School in Girona
  • The Robot Design Award went to Salvauth Park from Girona
  • The Scientific Project Award went to Bell-lloc Robotic Nature from the Bell-lloc del Pla School in Girona
  • The Scientia Foundation Award, which grants access to the FLL Nature’s Fury Grand Finale in Spain, went to Robotnick from the Baix Empordà Secondary School in Palafrugell.

 

The Scientia Foundation Award is the highest accolade awarded to the team that stands out as a model of respect for the FIRST LEGO League values and for having achieved excellence and innovation in both the design of their robot and in their scientific project. The members of “Robotnick” together with those of “Mini Salvauth Park”, who won this tournament, have earned themselves a place in the national finals which are to be held on 22 March in Barcelona.

The FLL is a global competition made up of local leagues. The best teams in each event go through to the national finals, which are to be held on 22 March in Barcelona, and from there on to a global tournament which could either be the Open European Championship (to be held in Pamplona in May) or the World Festival (to be held in Saint Louis, in the United States, during April). This international robotic tournament for boys and girls aged between 10 and 16 takes place in a sporty, fun and friendly atmosphere.

 

A challenge based on the real world

Each year, the FLL launches a new challenge based on a real-world problem. The challenge has three parts:

  1. Scientific Project, in which the teams must identify a real problem related with the theme of the challenge, propose an innovative solution and share their experiences in a presentation.
  2. Developing a robot made with LEGO pieces (using the LEGO Mindstorms kit). This challenge involves a competition table on which the robots must try to complete 10 missions in two and a half minutes. Each team has to design, build and programme a robot to attempt to complete the maximum number of missions on the competition table. This section also requires the team to explain the design of their robot, the technical decisions they have taken and their strategy for successfully completing the different missions.
  3. FLL Values. The judges assessing each team take into account aspects linked to friendly competition, respect for others and teamwork.

The teams are supported by a coach (in most cases a teacher) who is on hand to guide and advise them on preparing for the challenges during the eight weeks before the competition.

This unique championship has been run annually since 1998 and last year more than 180,000 children from 57 different countries grouped into 19,500 teams took part. To encourage young people to think and act like scientists and engineers, in each edition the organisation presents a specific challenge that requires the participants to solve real problems by building and programming a robot using engineering concepts and pieces from the popular construction game LEGO. In Spain, some 4,000 people in 412 teams took part in the challenge and were supported by 1,350 volunteers.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organisation which seeks to transform children’s current image of science and technology by making science, mathematics, engineering and technology the keys to successfully overcoming the challenge that is set. FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen and its mission is to design attractive and innovative programmes for developing self-confidence, knowledge and skills to motivate children to identify opportunities in the world of science and technology.

 

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