Year 7 Personal Challenge Project produces great results.
One of the Year 7 Personal Challenge Projects has been to learn to build and program a LEGO Mindstorm robot. Students spent 6 weeks learning the basics and then a team was chosen based on their skills to be part of the LEGO Mindstorm team. Eight students gave up their lunchtimes and the occasional after school session to build a robot that had to complete seven tasks in under five minutes.
The school has a huge poster on which was stuck seven different LEGO models which the robot had to manipulate. Lego spacemen had to be rescued, satellites had to be launched, rockets fired and space junk moved. The team were divided into designers, programmers and presenters. The presenters had to complete a project about humans’ ability to survive in space.
On Friday March 3rd the team went to the Advance Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry. During the day they had to show off their programming skills and see how many of the seven tasks they could complete under pressure. With nerves of steel the Year 7’s lined up their robot with great precision and calmly sent it off to attack the tasks.
We managed to score full marks on a couple of them and picked up points on all of them. Next was the robot design task where the students were grilled for ten minutes about the decisions that were made when building the robot and how they worked as a team. This was followed by the presentation where the girls spoke clearly and with great knowledge about the difficulties faced by astronauts in space. They certainly held their own when cross-examined.
Finally students had to work as a team to build a LEGO castle. It was with great pride that we watched the students build four towers in team colours to represent Wimbledon, Lords, Wembley and Twickenham with a giant CR at the front. The team demonstrated great teamwork throughout the whole day and although we did not manage to win a prize the students gained a huge amount from the day, not least a new group of friends.