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First Lego League - Student Report

4 Mar 2024
Student Report
Written by Student

The LYRA team (Langton Year 9-11 Robotics Association) at school competed in the regionals of the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge at Canterbury Christ Church University.  

On 23rd February 2024, eight teams from schools across Kent gathered to compete. LYRA and teachers Mr Edwards and Professor Parker, travelled by minibus to the competition venue, nerves and excitement fizzing amongst us all. 

FLL is a global STEM competition, where young people work in teams to design, build and program an autonomous LEGO robot to complete missions, and identify a real-life problem based on the annual theme and then invent an innovative solution (Innovation Project). We were able to enter the competition due to a wonderful donation from the Langton Family Association (LFA), who we would like to thank. Team member Ashna praised the competition, saying: “It was really nice to see so many young people involved in an engineering event, especially young women.” FLL helps to break barriers and inspire passion when it comes to engineering, where women are disproportionate compared to men.

LYRA was up first to present their project to three of the judges. EcoEnigma is a gamified app targeted for young people with bite-sized, fun tasks that promote eco-friendly habits, protect the environment and reduce eco-anxiety. Every completed task earns points that contribute to your virtual garden, which grows and flourishes the more points you earn.

It went better than we could have hoped: the judges loved our project. We presented the robot design afterwards, which was all about the build, programming and strategy of the robot. The team answered all the judges’ questions with clarity and surety. The tournament was off to a positive start.

Then came the Robot Game rounds. Each team had three chances throughout the day for their robot to score as many points as possible on the challenge mat in a two-and-a-half minute time frame. Although the first round didn’t go so well, we quickly re-tested and improved the robot on the practice mat. This paid off beautifully, and the robot scored an impressive 230 then 245 points in the next rounds.  

The nine-member team consisted of Sofia, Manqi, Iliana, Jennifer, Jemima, Alicia, Ashna and Elizabeth. Throughout the tournament, LYRA embodied the core values of the challenge, supporting each other and other teams alike with relentless enthusiasm. 

The competition closed with the judging ceremony as we waited with bated breath for the announcement of the trophy awards.

Much to our happiness, LYRA were awarded the ‘Core Values’ trophy, and Professor Parker received the Coach/Mentor Award. However, the Innovation Project, Robot Game and Robot Design trophies went to other schools, and ultimately, we lost out on the overall trophy which meant we would have gone through to the national finals.

Nevertheless, LYRA performed extremely well despite the setbacks we faced during the season, and we impressed the judges throughout the whole tournament. No matter the outcome, we thoroughly loved the experience. Sofia said “I had the most amazing day with my team...and we focused on having a fun, enjoyable time.”

Manqi W - Year 10