The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Smart move launches FIRST LEGO® League 2009
The theme for this year's FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) 2009 competition, smart move, was announced at the launch event held at the University of Kent. Seventeen schools from across Kent are already taking part in the competition and teachers attended the launch to find out about the challenges ahead. The FLL is an annual event which engages school children in science through themed activities including a robot challenge and practical project work.
Teams from across the region will spend the next couple of months preparing for the FLL regional final which takes place at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus on Tuesday 24 November. The winning team will go foward to the UK final at Loughborough on 23 January 2010.
The smart moves robot challenge requires the teams to programme a sensor equipped vehicle (a robot built using a LEGO® Mindstorm programmable controller) to perform a set of tasks in a test environment. These tasks correspond to transportation activities such as gaining access to places, avoiding impacts and traffic jams, and keeping passengers safe.
LEGO® Mindstorms are particularly suited to educational activities because they incorporate sensors and a programmable brick (a computer) which means that they can detect things in their environment and can be controlled to respond in different ways.
The smart moves project encourages research into how different kinds of transportation may under perform. Teams should consider what kinds of problems keep people and things from getting where they are going safely or quickly and using the least amount of energy. In particular, the teams must identify a particular transportation issue within their community, devise an innovative solution, and present their findings to a panel of judges in a creative way.
Event co-ordinator, Jane Anderson, welcomed teachers, staff and student ambassadors to the launch and offered help in the form of mentors, who would go out to schools to support the teachers and provide technical expertise. Additional teacher support sessions will be held at the university's Medway campus during October. Jane said:
" Being involved in Lego League develops skills in problem solving, analytical thinking, research and teamwork whilst having fun. There is always a buzz here at the University at the Regional Finals Day, everybody enjoys it, staff and students alike. "
This is the sixth time the FLL annual regional event has been held at the University of Kent.
Last year's event sponsors are kindly supporting the event again this year. The sponsors are the BCS (British Computing Society) and MEBP (Medway Business Partnership).
This year's FLL launch was held at the School of Computing on Wednesday 9 September 2009.
Schools can still enter teams into the competition - registration is open until the end of September. Schools currently registered:
Published 14 September 2009