3, 2, 1 LEGO! Pupils take part in the world’s largest STEM competition at Edinburgh College

Edinburgh College’s Sighthill Campus was rocketed into the realms of intergalactic space as it played host to the regional heat of a global LEGO competition for young people.

More than 80 school pupils aged between nine and 16 descended on the College to take part in FIRST Lego League, Into Orbit – a space-themed event designed to aid the development and application of science and engineering skills of young people across the world, as well as build on their communication and team working abilities.

Teams from Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce, James Gillespie’s High School, Wardie Primary School, Towerbank Primary School, Craigour Park Primary School, Peebles High School and Falkirk High School were given two challenges prior to attending the competition at the College.

Firstly pupils took part in a Robot Game which tasked them with designing and building their own LEGO robot which would be used to take on different missions in a LEGO space environment.

Each team attempted 15 missions, while a team of LEGO-approved judges marked them against criteria including design and performance of their robot and core values such as team working and communication.

The second challenge, the Group Project, saw teams identify a physical or social problem experienced by humans during long duration space exploration and design a solution to the problem before presenting to a panel of LEGO-approved judges.

Six trophies were awarded on the day. Pupils from Wardie Primary School collected the Judges award given for effort, enthusiasm and team working; Towerbank Primary pupils took home the Core Values award and Robot Performance awards; the team from Craigour Park Primary School won the Robot Design award and James Gillespie’s High School pupils won the Project award.

Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce won the overall Champions Trophy which means they will progress to a UK final due to take place in 2019.

The day-long competition was hosted by Acting and Performance students Rhys Watson and Stacyanne Smith while Broadcast Media students live-streamed the event on their YouTube channel.

Edinburgh College Engineering curriculum manager Ross Milligan said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant to host First LEGO League at Sighthill Campus – the first time the College has ever hosted such an event.

“Every pupil that took part should be really proud, they conducted themselves brilliantly and demonstrated a real enthusiasm and application to the task in hand – which was wonderful to see.

“Congratulations to Parkside Primary School, our team of judges thought they were fantastic throughout the day and we wish them the very best of luck at the next stages of the competition.

“Thanks go to all of the teams for taking part and to every member of staff who made the day the huge success it was.

“With partnership support from the Energy Skills Partnership we hope to offer this global competition at the College again next year.”