Opportunity of a lifetime
Local Lego team has opportunity to go to international tournament
This summer, a local robotics team from the Kentville area will be looking to make waves in West Virginia after advancing through two qualifying events and the Acadia Championship event earlier this year.
Representing Nova Scotia and Canada as well, the 21st Century Space Guys are a group of five passionate students ranging from the ages of nine to 14 who show major interest in the world of Lego robotics. They will be competing at the Mountain State First Lego League Invitational Tournament located in Fairmont, West Virginia, taking place from July 6-10.
Their name is a take from the classic Lego space guys, as the group shows a main interest in space exploration and adventure.
This is the team’s second season in the First Lego League (FLL), but it’s the first time they will be competing internationally against teams from different countries. The team shows a high level of understanding for robotics and a willingness to learn in a league where there is no end to what you can learn.
Fourteen-year-old Sam Chute, who is the oldest member of the club, shared what he believes are the best skills to have when dealing with robotics: “Patience, (and) dealing with team mates accordingly, knowing there is a time for fun and a time for seriousness, and having the ability to work as a team.”
The FLL is one of four STEM learning programs aimed at children ages nine to 14 and tests their ability to face real world challenges using science and technology. Teams must build and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve set missions. The game is competed on a large board with all missions constructed out of lego. Teams must also figure out a solution to a real world problem and then explain their solution to judges with this year’s theme surrounding animals around the world.
Of course, when planning and going on trips like these the cost can be very pricey. That’s why the team is looking for sponsors and anyone who are willing to help support them attend the event. A Gofundme page has been started where anyone can go online and donate to the club. The students are also planning several other fundraisers but the club is open to hearing about other fundraising possibilities as well. Other ideas for fundraisers have been formulated including a booth at Apple Blossom, but the club is open to more ideas.
When asked what going to West Virginia would mean to her team, coach Kim O’connor explained, “The kids have worked pretty hard. There have been some bumps, but the experience of seeing other teams work as hard as well and seeing teams from around the world doing these things, it’s going to be a neat experience for them to go, ‘oh wow, this is huge’.”
So far, the group’s Go Fund Me page has raised $2,004 of the $8,500 needed for the trip.
The 21st Century Space Guys will be looking to take their love for robotics to West Virginia after advancing from Acadia earlier in February. From left are Andrew Shirritt, Lauren Evans, Ben Welton, Timothy O’connor and Sam Chute.