Congratulations to the pioneering team of young scientists from St. Gerald's College - UK & Ireland 2010 winners of the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) competition.

The FLL is an exciting and innovative STEM challenge for teams of young people to encourage an interest in real world issues and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers.

Bio-medical engineering theme

The theme for the 2010 competition was 'bio-medical engineering' and 400 teams of budding scientists and engineers competed to win a place in the electrifying final at Loughborough University (held on 22nd January 2011).

The winning team of 15 and 16-year olds from St. Geralds College, Castlebar, Ireland, wowed judges with their concept which was later featured in the regional media.  The dynamic team (called SGC Robotics) beat 399 teams with their innovative iPhone app which aims to help people with diabetes remember to take their insulin.

The team's creative solution involves a microchip placed in the arm which monitors  insulin levels.  The device is programmed to send a signal to the phone in the event that insulin is not taken - simply brilliant!  And what's more, SGC Robotics (sponsored by SAP) also won the robot challenge by scoring a tremendous 365 out of a possible 400 points. They now go to the World Final in St Louis USA in April. Well done to the team and their Teacher Mr Askin.

What is the First LEGO League (FLL)?

The FLL is a global programme operated by RM Education as a not-for-profit activity in the UK and Ireland.  The programme captures the imagination of 9-16 year olds to find creative solutions to real world issues, while developing core employability skills and fostering a life long love of science, technology, engineering and maths.

What does the programme involve?

The programme links up teams of ten children with their community network through education, business, volunteers and experts in their field. The FLL links teams of ten children with their community network through education, business and other volunteers with specialist skills and expertise. The challenge was launched in September and teams are given ten weeks to:

  • Design and program a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot to complete specific tasks related to the challenge theme; and
  • Complete detailed research on the challenge theme and propose a solution to an identified issue and share their solution within their community.

Throughout November and December teams attend a regional FLL tournament where they particpate in a sports-like arena and present their work to volunteer judges.  At each tournament, teams are judged according to four areas - 1) Robot Performance; 2) Robot Design; 3) Research Project Presentation; and 4) Teamwork.

We're already looking forward to the 2011 final and seeing the imaginative and fresh ideas which address the theme 'The Food Factor' challenge.

Categories: In the classroom

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