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CQUniversity Townsville hosts FIRST LEGO League Challenge

CQUniversity Townsville hosts FIRST LEGO League Challenge

Published:13 November 2017

A school team competes in the inaugural Townsville region First LEGO League challenge.

CQUniversity’s Townsville campus hosted its inaugural FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge on Saturday (11 November) with 19 teams totalling almost 100 kids participating in the Townsville Regional leg.

Aged from nine to 16 years, the children, from schools across Townsville and also one from Ayr, used LEGO Education Mindstorm kits to compete in the ‘Hydrodynamics Challenge’.

Students worked in teams to invent, design, fabricate and build robots from scratch, drawing out all forms of interpersonal and intrapersonal communications and testing learner literacies in mathematical, scientific, and technological core curriculum areas.

Event organiser and CQUniversity Education Lecturer Dr Colin Baskin said he was overwhelmed with the response to the competition.

“We had so many schools representing from the Cathedral School to Townsville Grammar Senior and Junior schools, Townsville State High School, Ryan Catholic College, Townsville Christian School, Heatley State School, St Clare’s, Ignatius Park College, Mundingburra State School, Annandale State School and East Ayr Primary School who made the longest journey of all to participate,” Dr Baskin said.

“It was wonderful to see the kids really getting into the spirit of the event,” he said.  Dr Baskin said this year FLL theme was ‘Hydrodynamics’ which was the study of water ecology and water futures in a global environment that was challenged by climatic variations and water shortages.

“In Townsville, this is a major contemporary issue…but the solutions won’t come from our politicians making promises, the solution was incubating right there in the minds of our young people. Thematic challenges like these draw on a child's imagination and creativity.”

Dr Baskin said teams worked together to construct their robots and complete their research projects to explore water futures within a game-based framework which was laid out for them using LEGO pieces in a very ‘kinesthetic learning challenge’.

“We don’t know what the next generation of Nobel laureates and research scientists look like. We don’t know where to go to find them. FIRST LEGO League does what sports has done for so many generations now and opens doors and grows potential. It harvests skills, it is an invitation to young people with the right stuff to step forward to take on the challenge of future sustainability as future scientists, doctors, engineers, fabricators, and professional trades-people.”

The team crowned ‘Overall Champion’ of the Townsville region competition was Townsville Grammar School who will now head to Sydney in December to compete in the Australian National FLL Championship.

There were 43 competitions in Australia this year with more than 500 000 children globally completing the Hydrodynamic challenge in over 40 countries.

“The message here is that we all share in this global problem so we all have a responsibility to bring something to it in the form of a solution. FIRST LEGO League provides authentic technological learning opportunities for thousands of kids every year. It is about a sense of belonging, shared accomplishment, and with a concrete and authentic connection to the school and global environment.”