14th February 2020 — An enthusiastic team of Year 6 pupils from St Margaret’s Preparatory School in Calne competed in the regional heats of the First LEGO League Challenge in Bristol, and came away with the Core Values Award.
The school’s Head of Computing Mike Callahan said: “The LEGO League Challenge is a worldwide tournament and it gives pupils the chance to develop, design, build and code robots to perform missions on a themed playing field and design innovative solutions to a real-world problem inspired by the theme. This year’s theme was City Shapers and there is much emphasis on architecture and how we can make our communities better places to live.”
The St Margaret’s team chose to find a solution to the problem of access to railway platforms for wheelchair users and people with prams. Mr Callahan said: “The presentation involved a prototype of the ramp which had been created after hours of painstaking research and contacting experts in this field. The panel of judges were very impressed.”
In the afternoon session of the contest the team showed off its robots that had been programmed to carry out a series of missions. Mr Callahan said: “In the early rounds the team were consistent and in a tense third round they achieved their best ever score to move forward to the quarter finals. Another superb run meant we found ourselves in the semi-finals. Despite another impressive performance we narrowly missed out on a place in the final.”
But any disappointment was quickly forgotten when the team took the core values award. Mr Callahan said: “This was a wonderful accolade for the pupils as it is given for showing discovery, innovation, impact and teamwork. It was fantastic to see our children so inspired both in terms of working together in order to help others as well as persevering and collaborating in the area of computer programming. It really helps to prepare our young people for the real world.”