Good luck to our LEGO scholarship girls!

Eighteen Guides and Senior Branch members have been working hard on LEGO projects in recent months and are all set to take part in the FIRST LEGO League (FFL) Leinster finals in Dublin City University on Saturday 26 January.

The girls, who won scholarships to take part in the League, are taking part in two teams – SPARROTS and CLWKD.

Here SPARROTTS team members, Monica and Cara, tell us about their experience preparing for the finals in which they will be competing against 22 other teams:

“Each IGG team has nine members from all around Ireland. We meet every few weeks in the LEGO Innovation Studio in DCU. In the FLL there are multiple areas to the competition – core values, the research project and the Robot Game.

“In the robot challenge you have two and a half minutes to complete as many challenges as possible. You must programme your robot to do this, which takes a lot of time, but it’s all worth it in the end when you see your robot at work! We named our robot Pablo and our team mascot is a space helmet wearing carrot called Fredrick.

“For the research project, you must research a problem astronauts face when in space and come up with a solution to the problem. For our research project, we have been finding out new ways to grow plants in space. The core values are all about working as a team and overcoming problems you have faced, building on what we’ve learned in IGG. We’ve had so much fun competing in the FLL and have made so many new friends.”

Sarah from Team CLKWD said their aims were to build a robot which could perform specific space tasks using coding, to record the core values used to plan, create and present the project, to research an area that can improve the daily lives of astronauts in deep space travel in our solar system and to work as a team to fulfil the aims of the project and to present our project to a judging panel in a competitive environment

“Our research project looked at the area of well-being for astronauts on the International Space Station,” she said. “We specifically looked at ideas to help reduce home-sickness and to improve the benefits from fitness programmes on the space station. We propose to use Virtual Reality technology (VR) and 4D effects (olfactory cues) for both of these areas.”

FIRST is an acronym for ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’ and the FIRST LEGO League encourages young people to think like scientists and engineers, developing practical solutions to real-world issues.