A team from St Margaret’s Preparatory School, Calne, won a top award in the First LEGO League regional heats in a robotics tournament at the Hewlett Packard Labs in Bristol against nearly 20 schools from all over the South West.

Head of Computing at St Margaret’s, Mike Callahan, said, “Our Year 6 pupils had to design solutions for real world problems and build a mission-solving robot made of LEGO. Additionally, this years’ challenge required the children to break out of their earthly constraints and head off into Space.

“The children had been working towards this day since September and the all-day tournament really tested their research, programming and presenting skills.”

As part of the challenge, the team had to identify and propose a solution to a physical or social problem faced by humans during long duration space exploration.

Mr Callahan explained, “The children identified that one of the issues involving space exploration would be muscle wastage and they came up with the idea of a magnetic strength suit. The team presented its ideas in this area, complete with posters and research, to other schools, as well as an experienced judging panel and their thought provoking presentation was well received by all.

“They certainly made an impact and gave the judges something to think about. The team has shown much initiative during this year’s challenge, including contacting the UK Space Agency as well as other experts in this field. After a demanding day involving programming and presenting, we were thrilled to be awarded the top prize for our project presentation.

“It has been a really rewarding experience for our team, especially as the tournament allows the children to develop and apply their computing and scientific skills in a meaningful context.”

www.stmargaretsprep.org.uk