Creative young minds came together last week to take part in the First® Lego® League Challenge, hosted by the STEM Hub at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The First Lego League is a global STEM programme and robotics competition for young people to think critically about real-world problems, understand how engineering and technology can be part of the solution and develop key skills.

Nearly 100 young people from schools across the south east worked in teams designing and building Lego robots based around this year’s theme of environmental sustainability. The robots then completed a series of interactive ‘missions’ to earn their team points in the regional heat, with the overall winning team progressing through to the national finals, and if then onto the international final if they become the UK champions.

The teams also need to research and create an innovative solution to the brief and present their solution to a panel of judges who are STEM industry experts.

Kyla Winter, First Lego League Delivery Project Lead, at the STEM Hub said: ‘We are thrilled to support and organise the first lego tournament for Kent. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for both schools and industry from all over Kent to come together and learn from each other, and with the champions of the day going to represent Kent at the UK finals - having high-quality interactions is so important.’

The LYRA team from Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School said they approached the competition with a “blend nerves and excitement” as it was a chance to make a difference with their project 'EcoEnigma'.

EcoEnigma is a gamified app designed to promote eco-friendly habits among young people, effectively addressing the challenge while reducing eco-anxiety among peers.

The team said that the competition was “a powerful reminder of the potential of young minds to effect positive change in the world, armed with creativity, passion, and a willingness to tackle complex challenges… and the impact young people can have when they come together to solve problems that matter.”

Team Lyra was awarded the Core Values trophy for embodying the core values of the throughout the challenge - supporting their teammates and other teams alike with relentless enthusiasm.

The champion team for the 2023-24 First® Lego® League Challenge Kent was a team from Somerhill School in Tonbridge. They will be invited to attend the UK finals in Harrogate on 20th April 2024.

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