Robotics success for Derwent Valley teams

TWO teams from the Derwent Valley and a local coach received awards at the Hobart regional First Lego League competition held at the weekend. The Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT) and Molesworth Primary School entered teams in the annual contest, which was held at Sacred Heart College in New Town on Saturday.

D’FAT facilitator Matt Hill said this was the fifth time that D’FAT had entered a team in this event, which is part of an international science and engineering competition for students aged between nine and 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.

At the end of the day, the D’FAT team was presented with the Breakthrough Award, which celebrates a team that made significant progress in its confidence and capability in both the Robot Game and Innovation Project and are a shining example of excellent core values. “The demonstrate that they understand that what they discover is more important than what they win,” Mr Hill said.

Mr Hill was admiring the team’s award when he was surprised to hear his own name being read out at the competition’s closing ceremony, as the recipient of the 2022 Coach/Mentor Award. This award celebrates a coach or mentor whose leadership and guidance is clearly evident and best exemplifies the First Lego League core values, which are discovery, innovation, impact, teamwork, inclusion and fun.

Through a 15-week program running since July, D’FAT mentored a team of 11 children and young people in the First Lego League. D’FAT chairperson Nic Kaiser said this was the largest team that D’FAT had ever had”. “D’FAT’s First Lego League team program is also supported by The Salvation Army Derwent Valley Corps,” Mr Kaiser said.

Molesworth Primary School had two teams in the event and one of them received the Motivate Award, which celebrates a team that embraces the culture of First Lego League through team building, team spirit and displayed enthusiasm. “It was great to see D’FAT and the Molesworth teams cheering each other on,” Mr Hill said.

Picture: D’FAT members and their facilitator, Matt Hill, with their awards.

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