FIRST LEGO League Challenge Tournament

FIRST LEGO League Challenge Tournament

On Saturday, LEGO Cats competed in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge tournament in Epsom. An early start saw an optimistic attitude towards the tournament. Meeting at quarter to eight, seven pupils piled into the minibus with Mr Hillier and Mrs Wallis. Upon arrival, we entered the crowded competition room, where we would go against nine other teams. Some were older, many were larger, but we were determined to persevere. We set up our station and began to rehearse for the Innovation Project, upon which countless hours had been spent. Through initial difficulties, the team brought their speaking skills up to standard. However, before the presentation, the first round of the course awaited. We marched through to the official course room, where our coding, robotics and innovation would first present itself. Through preliminary nerves, the robot did not perform as high as hoped, but we resolved to do better. We resolved to beat our score (of 135) and mount the leaderboard.

However, first, we had the Innovation project to attend to. We entered the judging room with confidence, but our adrenaline levels soon peaked on discovering we had a five-minute time limit. Though previously unaware of this advancement, the team tried their best to present a satisfactory performance. And didn’t they! Under pressure, they were able to answer all queries from the judges and, barring a few slip-ups, the team came out of the room pleased they had done their best. Nevertheless, the competition had not ceased yet. The next round of the robot was soon upon us. We performed well, but fate’s hands were puppeteering our moves. Unfortunate chances meant a few unnecessary points were lost but, alas, there was little the team could do about it. We still came out with an improved 140 points.

Determined to improve further, a few members of our team ploughed on through code and calculations. And, when the time came, we were prepared. A full hour and half later after our previous round, the team entered the room confident but nervous, aware this was our final chance at victory. And what a show, ladies and gentlemen! Every exercise completed and succeeded, we could not have been more proud. A full 180 points more later, we sat ourselves at our station and waited. We looked around the room, assessing our opponents. We were in fifth place but could our professionalism, hard work and research save the day? We hoped so. The only thing left to do was await the results…

Despite our impressive efforts, alas, it was not to be, though we did achieve the Confidence and Capability Award, a deserved prize. We departed content with our success and determined to double our efforts next year.

Emma T – 2W


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