What a way to get back into the swing of things after the summer break! Bath WI ladies had an amazing time last night. Mandy Workman from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) came and clearly does what she does best – promoted the importance of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) to young people through First Lego League, with so much fun and enthusiasm. The First Lego League is comprises regional events, national finals before going on to an international final. It’s fun, it’s competitive, but at the same time the children are developing their STEM interest and skills. And boy, are these kids competitive! Of note 46% of participants are girls!
Mandy stressed the importance of youngsters working as a team and utilising their individual skills and thus being able to create and programme a robot to perform certain set tasks and thus earn points – and what do points make? PRIZES! or in this case a cup! There are various awards across the competition, including robot and core values awards. The core values that are identified include, inspiration, teamwork and gracious professionalism.
Mandy showed us some filming of the competition, and demonstrated, by asking us all to make our own lego duck, that we were all able to achieve the goal by using the creative part of our brain. She then split us into 4 groups and, amongst other things asked each group to make a boat!
Clearly with a bit of imagination, Tracy’s leg is the rudder and Kitty at the far end is the figurehead, albeit, she’s facing the wrong way! However, it was a good way to demonstrate group working and to value everyones ideas & opinions.
Finally, Mandy showed us what the robot could do, and how by positioning it carefully in the start zone, enabled the tasks to be carried out accurately and thus points awarded! Within the competition, the robots are built by the children and individually programmed.
We all left clutching our lego ducks, with a determination to ask whether our children and grandchildren’s schools took part and if not, why not? There was also debate about setting up such a scheme within guides or scouts, or even within as local housing area.
A big thank you to Mandy for giving up her evening to present and set everything up for us and introducing the concept of STEM to some of The Bath WI members.