3, 2, 1, LEGO … !

On Saturday 19 November, The Cube played host once again to FIRST® LEGO® League, welcoming 360 students and their team coaches, parents, teachers and peers to QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre. The energy and enthusiasm of the participants was palpable and just one of the reasons FIRST® LEGO® League is a highlight of the year, transforming the Science and Engineering Centre into a hive of activity!

This year’s challenge was based on the theme: ANIMAL ALLIES. Teams of up to 10 students researched, programmed, and prepared from August through November ‘to think of people and animals as allies in the quest to make life better for everyone’. The tournament involved:

  • 360 students 
  • 220 parents, teachers, grandparents, peers, siblings … 
  • 108 (2.5 minute) robot game rounds 
  • 52 staff and volunteers 
  • 41 team coaches
  • 36 teams from 22 locations (see team map below)
  • 36 robots 
  • 12 award recipients
  • 6 robot game tables
  • 4 practice tables
  • 4 concurrent activities (Robot Game, Robot Design, Project, Core Values)
  • 4 national qualifiers 
  • And many LEGO pieces! 

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One of the team coaches, Jackie Child, captured the spirit of the tournament experience in her article, Our FIRST LEGO League Journey.

Twelve awards were presented this year to the following teams:

Champions Award – iCode 22
Robot Performance – OLA Cybermonkeys
Robot Design (Mechanical Design) – Robros
Robot Design (Programming) – RobotIGGS
Robot Design (Strategy and Innovation) – Lego Central
Project (Research) – MGH Robots 2
Project (Innovation) – iCode New Dawn
Project (Presentation) – Sharks
Core Values (Gracious Professionalism) – Lasiorhinus krefftii Mark II
Core Values (Teamwork) – Hillbrook Team 1
Core Values (Inspiration) – Omega Dragons
Judge Award – Padua College 1 

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Those selected for the Nationals at Macquarie University, Sydney, on 10 December, are: 

  • iCode 22
  • iCode New Dawn
  • Padua College 2
  • OLA Cybermonkeys 

Congratulations again to all participating teams – until next year!

Jacina Leong and Elise Wilkinson – Co–Directors, FIRST LEGO League, and Public Programs, The Cube

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Happy 3rd Birthday (part 2)

To continue our reflection of the year that was, this week we hear from our Public Programs team, Jacina Leong and Elise Wilkinson, with some more of The Cube’s highlights from 2015.

  • In May we welcomed educators, curriculum writers, pre-service teachers, and a group of enthusiastic school students from Kelvin Grove State College to Creative Lab: 21st century learning, our partnership program with the Queensland Museum. Participants were introduced to a diverse range of ways to connect students with STEAM using new technologies and systems (games) thinking. Relive the program by watching the Creative Lab video

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  • And, in keeping with our love for all things robotics, last but not least, is FIRST LEGO League! Last year’s challenge saw teams of students developing solutions for a sustainable, greener future. We also welcomed the Hon Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, to the event to hear what students had developed. Find out more in this First Lego League blog post

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So, what do we have in store for 2016? Plenty. This year, we look forward to:

  • Introducing a new set of weekly workshops for Grades 5 – 10 in Terms 2 – 4. View the 2016 Education Program on our website
  • Welcoming Brian O’Connell, from the Centre for Engineering Education and Outreach, Tufts University, Boston, to facilitate some of our holiday programs
  • Building on our collaboration with Brisbane City Council Library Services through a train-the-trainer model. Stay tuned for more details coming soon
  • Hosting the official Australian launch of the LEGO Education WeDo 2.0

But most of all, we look forward to deepening our connection with the community, welcoming new visitors to The Cube, and continuing to provide inspiring, thought-provoking and engaging STEAM learning experiences for everyone.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our programs. You’re all superstars!

 

Big ideas abound at FIRST LEGO League 2015

On Saturday 21 November, over 500 children descended on The Cube to compete in this year’s FIRST® LEGO® League ‘Trash Trek’ challenge.

The Cube was abuzz with the excitement and passion of 31 school teams about to embark on the final leg of their Trash Trek challenge, the culmination of months of research, preparation and hard work.

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Our ‘Trash Trekkers’ were joined in spirit by over 233,000 children across 80 countries who were also participating in this year’s FIRST® LEGO® League Trash Trek challenge.

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We were lucky enough to have the Minister for Science and Innovation, Hon Leeanne Enoch, join us on the day to check out all the young innovators in action.

A big congratulations to the five teams who qualified for the national competition in Sydney: ATC Green Robros, iCode 22, Tech Wizards, Waskally Wilston Twash Twekers, and BSHS Cerise. Check out all winning teams below.

FLL15 Winners

No matter the outcome, all teams showed tremendous spirit, enthusiasm and tenacity, and all have a lot to be proud of. We hope to see many familiar faces back for the 2016 FIRST® LEGO® League.

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Thank you to everyone involved – our  volunteers, team coaches, parents and participants – your hard work, enthusiasm and gracious professionalism made the day one to remember!

The Cube would like to acknowledge the support of the QUT Faculty of Education, QUT Caboolture and Grace Lutheran College.

Want to see more? Find out what it’s really like to compete in FIRST® LEGO® League thanks to Nick Houghton, Leader of Pedagogy at Holy Family Primary School in Skennars Head, and his two 2015 FIRST® LEGO® League Grant-winning teams, iCode 21 and iCode 22. Following the teams’ journey from in-school preparation and training, to participating at QUT The Cube on the day, the video is a must-see for any schools or community groups considering becoming a part of FIRST® LEGO® League in 2016.

Holy Family Primary Schools’ FIRST® LEGO® League video can be viewed here.

Images by Kate O’Sullivan.

Robotics in the classroom: looking at curriculum links and FIRST® LEGO® League

Last week, The Cube hosted Robotics in the classroom, a professional development workshop for educators, facilitated by Peter Kellett. Peter provided a hands-on look at how LEGO Education EV3 robotics can be used in the curriculum, with a focus on FIRST® LEGO® League and other FIRST® programs.

As an educator in the field of classroom ICT, Peter discussed unit development, structure and assessment techniques using his robotics program at Grace Lutheran College as a case study.

Peter is a regional partner for FIRST® in Queensland and currently directs the FIRST® LEGO® League Brisbane Bayside tournament. Throughout the evening, Peter shared suggested approaches for teams competing in this year’s FIRST® LEGO® League ‘Trash Trek’ challenge.

Interested in learning about Peter’s key tips for approaching this year’s challenge? Review the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Guide and be sure to keep an eye on any Challenge updates.

Peter also discussed direct links between FIRST® LEGO® League and the Australian Curriculum and reviewed how the competition can be incorporated into lesson planning. You can view FIRST® LEGO® League curriculum links here. Thanks to the Robotics@QUT Caboolture team for compiling and sharing this great resource.

And a final thanks to Peter for facilitating a fantastic and informative evening!

For further information on FIRST® LEGO® League visit the FIRST® LEGO® website.

FIRST LEGO League

The Cube had the privilege of co-hosting the 2014 Brisbane FIRST® LEGO® League tournament on Saturday. It was an extraordinary event to be a part of and watch the Science and Engineering Centre transform into an energetic hub of activity.

FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) is an international robotics program organised by FIRST® in partnership with the LEGO® group. Every year, FLL releases a challenge based on a real-world scientific topic. This year, the theme was WORLD CLASS: What is the future of learning?

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In the lead up to the event, students from 20+ schools across Brisbane worked together in teams to redesign how we gather knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Their enthusiasm and dedication throughout the tournament did not waver, remaining focused on the tasks at hand.

The Cube would like to acknowledge the Faculty of Education, with particular thanks to Brisbane FLL Director Dr David Nutchey (Lecturer, Faculty of Education) who has hosted the tournament since 2008.

And to all the volunteers who helped out … we couldn’t have done it without you!

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If you didn’t catch the tournament, the core judged award winners were:

  • Kedron State High School – team 1 (Mechanical Design)
  • RACHEJJET (Programming)
  • Sherwood State School  – team 1 (Strategy and Innovation)
  • Fanatical LEGO Lovers (Research)
  • Murrumba Secondary College (Innovative Solution)
  • St Williams Cyborgs (Presentation)
  • The Southport School (Inspiration)
  • Brisbane State High School – team Blue (Teamwork)
  • Wilston Warriors (Gracious Professionalism)

With the 2014 Brisbane FLL Champion Award going to Brisbane State High School – team Cerise.

Congratulations to all participating teams and coaches – we look forward to welcoming you back to The Cube in 2015!

If you have a team interested in participating in the 2015 Brisbane FLL tournament, please email us. We’d love to hear from you.