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Five school’s from across Wales travelled to the Liberty Stadium in Swansea last month (28 June) for the final of the first Technocamps LEGO Robotics Competition as part of the Big Bang Cymru 2012.
Dyffryn Taf School from Carmarthenshire, Olchfa and Morriston Comprehensive from Swansea and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Gwaun and Greenhill Comprehensive from Pembrokeshire were each loaned a LEGO MINDSTORMTMkit by Technocamps as well as advice on how to design, build, program and test their robot’s in order to complete this year’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Food Factor Challenge titled ‘keeping food safe’.
After weeks of practising in their Technoclub it came down to a gripping contest on the day of the Big Bang Cymru, with the eventual winner Dyffryn Taff pipping Greenhill to the title of Technocamps LEGO Robotics Competition Winner 2012. The class won a LEGO MINDSTORMTMkit for their school worth over £300 kindly donated by LEGO Education UK, with the four runners-up each picking up a Technocamps branded medal to take home.
Director of Technocamps, Professor Faron Moller of Swansea University, who was present at the Technocamps LEGO final, said: “FIRST LEGO League is something of a world-wide phenomenon, which is why it was a perfect opportunity for Technocamps to partner with the competition and use it to help inspire the next generation of computer scientists in Wales.
“By designing their challenges around real-world scientific topics, participants are exposed to potential career paths in that field, in addition to solidifying the STEM principles that naturally come from participating in a robotics program. They get to grips at an early age with simple object oriented programming, software and system integration, as well as learning the core engineering cycle principles of design, build, test and refine.
“You can see from the reaction of the young people on the day how much they enjoyed themselves and appreciate how a game that their parents and grandparents played has a hugely contemporary relevance today. We look forward to organising next year’s competition with FLL, which we plan to make bigger and better.”
ICT teacher of Dyffryn Taf School, Rory Owen, was delighted with his class’s achievement. He said: "I am very pleased. These students have learned so much from the experience and I would recommend the Technocamps LEGO Robotics activity to other schools across Wales.”
13 year-old student Kieren from Dyffryn Taf School added: "It was very challenging and great fun.”
Technocamps, which is an outreach project that gets young people aged 11-19 in Wales engaged in exciting computing-based topics, had their own dedicated room at this year’s Big Bang Cymru, organised by Careers Wales. The Technocamps experience was themed the ‘classroom of tomorrow’ and provided an insight into the exciting world of computing and new technology. Within this area there were a number of interactive science themed games designed by the Technocamps team for the Apple iPad 2 and Microsoft Kinect, as well as a demonstration table on the latest software used in robotics and wearable technology.
Backed by £3.9 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, the project delivers a series of outreach programmes to schools, colleges and other educational providers within the convergence area of Wales, inspiring young people to consider the computing-based topics underpinning the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Technocamps has the long term goal of encouraging them to pursue careers in an area that will drive economic growth in Wales.
For more information contact the Technocamps communications team on 01792 606652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture 1: Winners of Technocamps LEGO Competition 2012, Dyffryn Taff School from Carmarthenshire. Left to right: Ieuan (13), Sam (13), Rhys (13), Rhys (13), Isaac (12), and Kieren (13). Also in pic (l to r): Gareth Davies (Gaz Top) and Professor Faron Moller, Director of Technocamps.
Picture 2: Year 7 & 8 pupils from Morriston Comprehensive School in Swansea competing in the Technocamps LEGO competition Final 2012 at Big Bang Cymru.
- Wednesday 11 July 2012 01.00 BST
- Tuesday 10 July 2012 15.23 BST
- Swansea University