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AWE donation supports robot challenge

Lego enthusiasts at the Vyne School in Basingstoke have used a donation from AWE to help them compete in a world-wide robot competition. The school’s Lego club is taking part in the First Lego League Challenge which sees young people design, build and program an autonomous robot to solve a series of missions.

The Vyne School’s Lego club, which comprises Years 8 and 11 pupils, has recently finished building and programming their robot ‘Blue Jay’ and is now focusing on researching and designing solutions for this year’s challenge theme. The club also need to capture how they are meeting the Challenge’s core values which include innovation, teamwork and inclusion, ready for when the competition kicks off in June.

The school is hoping to build upon on its previous success, having won a trophy in the First Lego League Challenge last year. The Challenge is a global STEM (science, engineering, technology, maths) programme for teams of young people that encourages an interest in real world themes and helps develop key skills for their future careers.

Science teacher, Natalie Jamieson runs the Vyne School’s Lego club and comments: “We’re really grateful to AWE for this donation which allows us to showcase our talented pupils and their wide-ranging STEM skills to a wider audience. Competitions like this are a great way for young people to demonstrate innovation and technical skills, as well as being able to work effectively as a team. We’re already very excited about competing in the Challenge’s regional heats.”

Charity Fund Secretary, Michele Maidment says: “We were happy to help out the school with funding their robot and hope they excel in the Challenge this summer. We believe that it’s important to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and technology specialists, and supporting local pupils’ interest in STEM is a great way of achieving this.”

During the regional heats, teams will compete in three robot games and then be interviewed on their design approach, followed by a presentation to the judging panel. The overall champion team will then progress to the national finals, with ultimate winners then going on to compete in the First Lego League Challenge World Festival.

Picture shows: The Vyne School’s Lego club practicing with their robot, Blue Jay