Kids go Lego crazy

SCHOOLCHILDREN from around Suffolk converged on Adastral Park, Martlesham today to take part in an International Lego Robotics Competition.The Lego League invited 22 schools to take part in a competition to design, build, program, test and refine robots capable of achieving missions set by Lego.

SCHOOLCHILDREN from around Suffolk converged on Adastral Park, Martlesham today to take part in an International Lego Robotics Competition.

The Lego League invited 22 schools to take part in a competition to design, build, program, test and refine robots capable of achieving missions set by Lego.

The objective of the competition is to inspire children to learn about science and technology in a fun way and to consider them as future career options.

The children were given a Lego kit eight weeks ago to build and were supervised by a mentor from BT.

All the schools were given the same equipment but they have come up with different designs.

The schools get three opportunities at two and a half minutes a time to complete a set number of tasks.

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This includes picking up loops, removing pieces of buildings and knocking down obstacles.

The winner of the competition, which is judged against performance, design, teamwork and research, will receive a Lego Cup.

The competition is sponsored by the Cambridge – MIT Institute and BTExact Technologies.

Graham Cosier, one of the judges from the Cambridge – MIT Institute said: "We see this as a way of getting young people excited about engineering and technology. Whereas Robot Wars is more destructive, this is more constructive.

"Today is really about the kids having fun. The whole point of the eight weeks was to help them learn and today is the result of that. As far as I am concerned every one of the kids is a winner."

Teams of youngsters, accompanied by their teachers, were certainly enjoying the event.

Richard Carter, 9, of Trimley St Martin Primary School, said: "I thought it would be quite hard, but after a while you get used to it and it is really fun. I have really enjoyed it."

His teacher, Annie Hookway, said: "The pupils have tackled the task with great enthusiasm, lots of energy and lots of ideas. They have been very motivated and it has been a wonderful combination of research and practical application. It is a wonderful addition to the curriculum."

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