Local Girl Guides to showcase skills at Lego League finals

by Padraig Conlon

Several local Irish Girl Guides are part of a team taking part in the FIRST LEGO League All Ireland Final this weekend.

The girls, from Ballyroan and Lucan, will compete alongside team mates from Portmarnock, Howth and Louth village in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, on Saturday, March 7.

They have been practising for months and were thrilled to earn the highest score at the regional finals that took place in Dublin City University on February 15.

They also achieved the highest score ever to be recorded in a Robot Game at a FIRST LEGO League competition in Ireland or the UK as they ran Overall Winners on the day!

FIRST stands for ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’ and the FIRST LEGO League, which takes place in over 90 countries, encourages children and young people aged 11-16 to think like scientists and engineers, developing practical solutions to real-world issues.

The teams operate under a signature core set of values, which include creative thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, communication and the spirit of friendly competition and co-operation.

The IGG members, whose team name is Sustainable Sisters, wowed the judges at the regional finals with their research, design and programming skills.

As well as designing and building an automated robot, they had spent several months researching an issue with public spaces and buildings in their community and devising an innovation solution to combat this.

The regional final saw them present their research project and use their robot to undertake various challenges on a themed playing field while competing against other teams from around the country.

Monica Keogh (13) of Ballyroan Guides said: “I have had a great time competing in the FIRST LEGO League.

“I have learned so much about robotics and how to tackle air pollution in Dublin city. I have made so many new friends and have got to know so many amazing people.

“It has been an incredible experience!”

Cora Keogh (15) of Ballyroan Senior Branch said: “We were so excited to win the regional FIRST LEGO League Competition and to get the highest overall score in the Robot Game!

“We worked really hard over the last few months to come together as a team and do our very best.

“Taking part has taught me a lot about teamwork, research and coding.

“We can’t wait for the All Ireland Finals, we have spent the past few weeks refining our research presentation and practising our robot game to maximize our points.”

Kerenza Talbot (12) of Lucan Guides said: “The finals were a busy place with lots and lots of people, music, dancing and, of course, giving presentations and running the robot in competitions against other teams.”

Rhiannon Talbot (10) of Lucan Guides said the LEGO Education Innovation Studio in DCU had been an amazing place in which to do their workshops.

“This is the first time I have been in a competition like the LEGO League and I was thrilled we won,” she said.

“I can’t wait for the All Ireland Final and to see how other teams have designed their robots and to see their stalls and research projects.”

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