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Budding young engineers from East Ayrshire crowned FIRST® LEGO® League Scotland champions

The winning team – Stewarton Stormers from Stewarton Academy – is made up of Natalie Smith (aged 16), Jessica Williamson (aged 16), Alex Adrain (aged 16), Morgan Cumming (aged 16), Matthew Lyon (aged 16), Matthew James (aged 16), Euan Gemmell (aged 16), Grant McClure (aged 16) and Ben Haine (aged 16).

They were crowned champions at the competition final on Saturday in Perth and will now have the opportunity to represent Scotland at the World Festival in Detroit, USA.

The science and technology challenge, which is aimed at 9-16-year-olds, tasks teams to build a robot to tackle a series of missions, and create an innovative solution to a real-world problem. This year’s CITY SHAPER Challenge, saw students learn all about architecture and the spaces we live in.

The team's solution is an innovative idea about sustainable eco-friendly housing and mental wellbeing.  Living in a rural area, the team were concerned that their community is continuing to lose agricultural land to new housing developments. They were also concerned that these new housing developments lacked spaces for the community to gather in. To combat these issues the team created an eco-village, Brightside, featuring 3600 rotating housing with glass geodome roofs able to harness energy from the sun, garages built underground to provide more green space for crop growth, disability access properties, and community hubs.

Morgan Cumming, a member of the Stewarton Stormers, said: “I'm completely blown away by us winning the Scottish final and I'm so excited to experience what the world festival has to offer, as well as being the face of Scotland in the world of First Lego League.”

Mhairi Taylor, the team’s coach, said: “Ecstatic does not even cover our feelings for our pupils right now. Having narrowly missed out on the opportunity to go to the USA last year to compete at the World Finals we are over the moon to have won this opportunity. The impact that it has had on the pupils involved and our school community cannot be measured. Our team members have developed essential employability skills and now lead and develop these skills in their peers through volunteering as Young Stem Leaders in our school.”

The runners-up were the STEM Troopers, a team from McLaren High School, Callander.

Lowri Walton, FIRST® LEGO® League IET Education Manager, said: “FIRST® LEGO® League allows young people to experience engineering in action. As well as bringing excitement to STEM subjects, the students get hands-on experience with robotics and designing innovative solutions to real-world problems.

There is a great need for young people with STEM skills to fill the next generation of engineering role and we are excited to see such bright young engineering minds in FIRST® LEGO® League.”

The event was part of the largest ever FIRST® LEGO® League Final with over 500 young people attending who were all keen to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication.

The IET is proud to be the FIRST® LEGO® League’s UK and Ireland operational partner. Supporting the competition is part of the IET’s commitment to show young people the benefits of careers within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

For more information about this year’s FIRST® LEGO® League competition, please visit http://firstlegoleague.theiet.org/index.cfm.

 

--ENDS--

Notes to Editor

Full team quotes

Matthew Lyon said: “It was a fantastic experience! To get to compete at a national level and represent our school was amazing!”

Alex Adrain said: “This was a brilliant opportunity for us and it was such an honour to represent our school and area, and now Scotland.”

Ben Haine said: “Incredibly happy to be able to represent Scotland and looking forward to the experience.”

Morgan Cumming said: “I'm completely blown away by us winning the Scottish final and I'm so excited to experience what the world festival has to offer, as well as being the face of Scotland in the world of First Lego League.”

Grant McClure & Euan Gemmell said: “We are entirely ecstatic with our victory at the Nationals and now we are both excited to see what the worlds can offer us and are prepared to put 110% into seizing victory for Scotland.”

Matthew James said: “This was the most exciting experience yet at a STEM competition.  For us to win a trophy was good but to win overall was excellent, I'm excited for what lies ahead in Detroit.”

Natalie Smith said: “This whole experience was unforgettable.  It's such an amazing opportunity for us all to have.  As one of the girls in the team, I am proud to represent women in STEM and to be able to lead us to success.”

Jessica Williamson said: “I am so grateful for this experience and can't wait to represent Scotland in Detroit.”

 

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Media enquiries to:

Rebecca Gillick
External Communications Manager
T: +44 (0)7725 498 129
E: rgillick@theiet.org

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