Developing the Young Workforce North Highland

Developing the Young Workforce North Highland

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Caithness Schools Compete in the First Lego League Challenge.

Caithness primary and secondary schools exhibited their Lego-building prowess in a global competition. The First Lego League Challenge North Highland Tournament, was proudly hosted and sponsored by NRS Dounreay, Developing the Young Workforce North Highland, and UHI North Highland. Held at the Engineering, Technology, and Energy Centre (ETEC) at UHI North Highland in Thurso, the competition attracted participants from various age groups, introducing them to science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) in an engaging manner.

The First Lego League, a global competition facilitated in the country by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, aims to foster problem-solving skills among children aged four to 16. It encourages them to explore and enhance critical thinking, coding, and design abilities through hands-on learning and robotics. For nine to 16-year-olds, the challenge involves building and programming a Lego robot to complete various missions in a robot game, with the theme for the 2022/23 season being “Superpowered.”

Teams from Caithness and Sutherland dedicated months to prepare for the competition, receiving support from their coaches and STEM ambassadors from Dounreay. At the ETEC event, each team presented its innovation project and robot design to a panel of judges. Additionally, students engaged in three short robot games, aiming to accomplish as many missions as possible. The team with the highest overall score in the games received the Robot Performance Award.

The competition not only focused on technical aspects but also emphasized core values. Among the winners were Newton Squad from Newton Park Primary School, awarded the Core Values Award, and BOB from Thurso High School, recognized for their Innovation Project. Other winners included Lego Legends from Halkirk Primary School for Robot Design, Reay Legoteers from Reay Primary School for Robot Performance, and Noss Block Stars from Noss Primary School for Engineering Excellence. Special recognition was also given to teams like Team Gary from Thurso High School for Motivation, Team Beiss from Keiss Primary School/Bower Primary School for Best Team Work, and The Dunbuilders from Dunbeath Primary School for Inclusion. The Dunbuilders also clinched victory in the poster competition.

Ultimately, the coveted Champions Award went to Reay Legoteers, marking the culmination of their hard work and dedication in the competition.