Genesis Academy captures First Lego League Tournament
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Dec 19, 2012
Teams from Genesis Academy and St. Andrew’s Primary School will represent The Bahamas at the regional finals of the First Lego League (FLL) Tournament in Orlando, Florida, after capturing first and second places respectively at the inaugural FLL competition in The Bahamas on Saturday.
Students executed this year’s tournament theme “Senior Citizen”. In preparation for the competition, the competitors researched the lives of senior citizens to discover what their lives involved and incorporated those qualities into a Lego robot they built. On the day of the event they had to present their findings before a panel of judges, then program their robot to navigate an obstacle course which reflected a day in the life of a senior citizen.
Genesis also captured the prize for Best Robot Performance.
Ethan Bain, a sixth grade student at Genesis Academy said he learnt a lot from doing the project, particularly about elderly people and working as a team. He also said that programming the robot was the most difficult part of the experience.
“It would not obey the command,” said Ethan.
St. Andrew’s Primary won best research.
St. Andrew’s Middle School captured best presentation.
C.H. Reeves took the prize for core values.
The competition at the British Colonial Hilton. Genesis won over the teams from St. Andrew’s Primary School, St. Andrew’s Middle School and C.H. Reeves Junior High School.
Over 200,000 teams from 70 countries have competed in Lego tournaments in 2012 for a spot in the finals.
Tournament organizer, Laurena Finlayson, of Management Development Resources (MDR) was pleased with the performance and enthusiasm of the students. She said she was inspired to bring the event to The Bahamas after attending a Legos Ideas Conference in Denmark several years ago.
The event took six months to organize and received the support of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Director of Education, Lionel Sands said he was pleased to witness the young visionaries utilizing their technical, critical thinking, social, oratory and presentation skills.
The director noted that the ministry had made steps to incorporate technology into the curriculum and several public high schools were presently preparing students for careers in technology including mechanical engineering and architectural drawing. He further revealed that since, 1990, the Technical Cadet Corps Programme has exposed over 1,500 students to careers in technology, chemical engineering, broadcast communications and telecommunications.
Sands said he was pleased that the tournament was actually held since five teams withdrew from the event prior to the competition. C. H. Reeves was the only public school that participated.
Sands also assured organizers that at least a dozen schools [an equal number from both public and private schools] will participate in the First Lego League contest next year.
Amanda Gayle, a judge with the First Robotics Programme in Florida who visited Nassau to launch the local tournament, told the audience that as a teacher she has seen underachieving third graders at the school she taught become the top performers because of their involvement in Lego clubs at their school. She further revealed that students had earned scholarships from their participation in Lego competitions to attend top schools in the United States and become engineers and lawyers.
Some of the judges for the technical component of the tournament included Kevin Davies an engineer at BTC; Carlos Palacious an engineer at Caribbean Coastal Services and Bacchus Rolle from the Bahamas Electricity Corporation. Judging the Core Values segment was Ida Turnquest, manager of special projects at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.