‘Sports for the mind’
Dobbin said he is often asked the secret behind the school’s success at the event. It is an answer he has trouble formulating.
“I can talk about this all day. Just get me started,” Dobbin said. That is the key, he figures. “We’re passionate about it and it shows in the work we do with the students,” he noted.
Through the experience with the Lego League, the students at St. Francis have learned valuable life lessons designed to help them in whatever career they chose.
“It is a great educational tool, if you want to become an engineer,” said Brayden. But, it is not only engineers who will benefit. “You learn problem solving, and working with people,” said Aicha Djaoutkhanoua, who helped do all of the programming for the robots, along with Fatihah.
Dobbin said it pays dividends when the students get out onto the job site. “It applies to ROV driving,” he said. Core values are an integral part of the competition judging and teach participants that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.
“They’re learning real world problems and they’re learning how to solve the problems,” said Littlejohn.
Dobbin has a special name for the work the students do in the technology lab.
“I call it sports for the mind.”