Derwent Valley teams selected for national robotics contest

TWO groups from New Norfolk have qualified to take part at the national level in the First Lego League competition after their trophy-winning efforts in this year’s Hobart regional event earlier today (Saturday).

Representatives of the Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT) and students from St Brigid’s Catholic School were among the 17 teams that took part in the regional event at St Virgil’s College in Austins Ferry.

D’FAT facilitator Matt Hill said this was the fourth time D’FAT had entered a team in this event. “Members of this team enjoyed great progress in their fourth year, winning the Core Values trophy and qualifying for the national competition which is scheduled to be held in December,” Mr Hill said.

“It is the first occasion that D’FAT’s team has qualified to compete at the national competition and St Brigid’s should also be congratulated as they received the Engineering Excellence trophy and also qualified to compete at the national competition”.

“It is unique that two teams from the Derwent Valley have qualified to compete at the national competition,” Mr Hill said. “It was lovely to see St Brigid’s cheering on D’FAT’s team, and D’FAT’s team cheering on St Brigid’s during the rounds of robot game at the competition,” he said.

First Lego League is an international science and engineering competition for students aged nine to 16 years. This problem-solving competition has teams of up to 10 students building, programming and competing with a robot, which must complete challenges to score points,” Mr Hill said. “At the same time, participants are learning about a modern problem in science and engineering, and developing solutions for it,” he said.

Through a 15-week program running since July, D’FAT has mentored a team of six children and young people from the Derwent Valley in the First Lego League. D’FAT chairperson Nic Kaiser said the Rotary Club of Derwent Valley had provided funding to help with the continuation of the team. “D’FAT’s Lego League team program is also supported by the Peter Underwood Centre and The Salvation Army Derwent Valley Corps,” Mr Kaiser said.

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