The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
FIRST LEGO® League Winners
Kent Regional Final 2005
The Kent Regional Final of the FIRST LEGO® League was won convincingly by the team from Norton Knatchbull school, Ashford, who, in a keenly fought competition, succeeded in carrying off not one, but two awards. The event, which attracted 16 schools from across the region, was a tremendous success demonstrating great sportsmanship, teamwork and a high level of commitment from pupils and their teachers. (Listen to the BBC Radio Kent broadcast [6.5 Mb mp2 format - approx. 1 minute download].)
FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) is an international competition for children aged 9 - 16 years that combines a hands-on, interactive robotics program with a sports-like atmosphere using the LEGO® Mindstorms Robotics Invention System. Teams consist of 7 - 10 players and the focus is on team building, problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. Each year, teams face a challenge to emulate a real world event or situation; they must research, plan, build, program and test a fully autonomous robot capable of accomplishing s set of tasks within eight weeks.
The theme for this year's competition was Ocean Odyssey; the task was to find solutions that would sustain the health, biodiversity and productivity of the world's oceans for present and future generations. Sharks, treasure chests and an oil pipeline were just some of the obstacles that teams had to face in this year's challenge.
For the past two months, the teams, with their coaches and mentors, practised building, programming and testing their robots to perform a series of tasks and devised strategies for scoring as many points as possible. They also conducted a research assignment which they presented on competition day to a panel of judges.
The hard work paid off for Norton Knatchbull who won the Robotic Performance Award with their highly tactical approach to the robot challenge. Their excellent performance in the research project presentation and the technical interview also helped to earn them the overall Champions Cup. The team will join the winners from the 18 other regional finals in the FIRST LEGO® League National Final to be held on January 21st 2006 at Loughborough University. The Queen Elizabeth's team, winners of the Newcomers Award, will be joining Norton Natchbull at the finals. If successful there, they will then go on to participate in the European Open Championships to be held in the Netherlands.
The Kent Regional Final of the FIRST LEGO® League competition was sponsored by SETPOINT Kent and Medway.
The 2005 Kent Regional Final took place on the 24 November and was hosted jointly by the Computer Science Department and the Electronics Department of the University of Kent and took place in the university's sports centre.
The event was organised by Janet Linington, a computer science lecturer and schools liaison officer with the department, and was organised as a part of the Computing Laboratory's outreach programme to schools. Other components of this programme involve schoolteacher-training sessions in the Java programming language, and school visits for hands-on robot programming sessions - for further information and details please contact Janet Linington (email@example.com) or Simon Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org).