Over the past few months, something very exciting has been happening in the Mac Suite at Penpol School. Whether it be on a Wednesday afternoon or over lunchtime, two teams of dedicated and committed of year 5 pupils have been hard at work practicing for the FIRST LEGO League Competition.
This is our first year entering at Penpol School and whilst we weren’t quite sure what to expect, both teams got straight to work designing their robots, understanding how the code worked, researching innovative solutions to problems and improving their teamwork and co-operation. Over these few months all thirteen children have grown closer in their teams and have been focused on a common goal – the Regional Final event!
Well, I’m delighted to say that both teams absolutely blew us away on the day. Their perseverance, ingenuity and dedication really shone through and they have well and truly done Penpol School proud. Below is a brief rundown of what happened with each team in all four areas of the competition, as well as any special recognition they received along the way.
Well done Stellan, Chris, Liliana, Dylan, Oliver, Erin, Flora, Ruby, Ben, Obi, Katie, Agnes and Remy!
Team Robo Legends
Class 11: Stellan, Remy, Oliver, Agnes, Ben, Flora and Ruby
Robo Legends managed to code a fantastic assortment of activities on the challenge table and managed to finish with a very impressive score of 180. They coded each activity and tested thoroughly to ensure it was reliable and accurate. The judges were very impressed with their perseverance and creativity.
The judges said the team “showed good co-operation throughout playing to each others strengths, but always coming back together to take on the next challenge.”
They demonstrated incredible teamwork, perseverance and a sense of fun throughout the completion and thoroughly deserved to come first for Core Values in the competition!
In an effort to solve the problem that only 0.5% of people in the world surf, the team invented a clever machine that floats off of the coast and cleans sea-water, warns of impending marine life attacks and will offer surfers a panic button to call for help should they find themselves in danger.
The team created a prototype of this invention and did a brilliant job of presenting their research and development to the judging panel, who praised their “outstanding presentation, which the team delivered in a very fun way“.
Finally, team Robo Legends delivered a fun and informative interview-style presentation to the judges where they reflected on the journey they’ve been on as part of the LEGO League Competition, including their funniest moments (involving pillows, dancing and uncontrollable robots!) as well as the challenges that they’ve overcome.
A particular highlight of this section was hearing how the children have become better friends and a stronger team as a result of their participation in the competition.
Team LEGO Legends
Class 12: Chris, Dylan, Katie, Obi, Liliana and Erin
LEGO Legends managed to achieve an utterly incredible score of 280 in the Robot Games. To put this into context, anything over 100 would have been considered a huge achievement for the children in their first year.
They coded some incredibly complicated algorithms to make their robot work, including one that steered the robot under a bridge, then dropped 13 cubes into a small target before reversing, driving on and ending up dancing on the dance floor.
As well as their achievements in coding and presenting, the team showed the judges how well they worked together by supporting each other, cheering on individual successes in the competition and demonstrating exceptional teamwork and co-operation at all times.
A real highlight here was seeing how each and every child got involved in their challenges, whether it was presenting and answering questions with the panel of judges or by working together to ensure a reliable and high-scoring round in the Robot Games.
For their innovation project team LEGO Legends realised that people were driving for short journeys, even to the shops or to drop children off to school. To help combat this, the team invented a mobile phone app which would only let you drive in your car after you’d walked a certain number of steps.
What really set the team apart though was their sheer amount of research and development that went into their product. The judges remarked: “Research and feedback from others through questioning was excellent. A great way of sharing your ideas.“
Finally, team LEGO Legends delivered a compelling presentation sharing what they’ve learnt in the competition, how they’ve improved as a team and how they overcame challenges along the way.
The judges asked some interesting questions of the team but they all found ways to respond, with one judge in particular praising how they refined their code: “Obi gave the perfect answer for how they tested and isolated faults with the code. This is exactly how it is done in engineering companies all over the world.”
On Thursday 17th of June 2021, Class 12 went surfing at the Global Boarders surf school based near Hayle, Cornwall. Class 12 went for the whole day and surfed from ~10:30 to ~14:30 with a small break for lunch at ~13:00. Before they got in the water, the trained instructors taught them some basic safety signals and some cool tricks to try in the water such as “race car”, “freestyle”, “Casanova”, “coffin”, “jazz hands” and “sky dive”. They arrived at ~9:30, went through basic safety checks, got changed and got in the water.
They surfed for nearly 3 hours before they had to go up to the cafe to eat their lunch. They all ate their lunch remarkably fast so they could get back in the water. 2 people though got very cold and were allowed to put on extra wetsuits. After eating their lunch, Class 12 went back down to the beach and did a 15 minute warm up of stuck in the mud. After 5 rounds of stuck in the mud, they grabbed their surfboards and jumped back in the water for their final hour. They all caught at least 3 waves or more, some getting up to 30 waves. At about 14:00, they walked up with their surfboards and got changed. This took ~35-40 minutes. They only had 1 bus so the second group had to wait an extra 15 minutes for the next bus. By the time the second group got to school, it was 15:15, year 5’s home-time so they all left to their homes.
Reported by Obi B
and Dylan C
A few weeks before activity week we proudly announced out new Super Six Pupils, the first of hopefully many this year. Becoming a ‘Super Six’ is not simply about academic success but more so recognising excellent role models that demonstrate the shared values and ethos of the school.
These particular children share a tremendous work ethic and constant drive to succeed and improve. Through both homework and classwork they have shown immense effort and diligence and we are wholly confident they will continue to set an excellent example for children at Penpol School as they wear their new ties with pride.