ALL IRELAND LEGO MINDSTORMS ROBOTICS COMPETITION
It was a cold, snowy Saturday morning (7 January) when we met at 7am to travel to Galway for the First Lego League sponsored by SAP to build a Mindstorms robot. The competition is international with regional finals and a grand final in St. Louis in April. The competition has been running for 4 years but this was the first time that DCS had qualified.
We had spent three months building and programming the robot from the kit. We received the kit and worked on the models and the mat for 4 hours a week after school but as the day approached we spent at least 20 hours a week on the project. There were a number of tasks with the general theme of technology in medicine. This included a set of tasks we had to program into the robot and a project we did on PowerPoint. The project can be seen on Youtube by searching for dcsrobotics.
We went through many different designs and while frustrating this did eventually get us the successful design.
When we slid our way up to Galway the weather had delayed the completion but the organisation was brilliant.
A huge room at the Radisson was filled with the 21 other competing teams from all over the country. Music played and a TV presenter from the UK did the MC. We first had to explain the design and programming to a judging panel and answer questions. The students were excellent explaining all clearly and each one clear and concise. The judges were visibly impressed.
Our first run did not go well but everybody was doing poorly and we thought that just one good run could take it. Then we had the presentation that went well again all questions answered confidently. The second run better and so did the third but we did not get anything like the scores we had got here in Cork.
This took us out of competition for the main title but we stayed to cheer the victors. Before the overall winners were other trophies first for Teamwork and then the Technical Award for design and programming they read out “Douglas Community School Cork” we went wild it was saying we had the best building and programming skills. We won a cup made out of Lego brilliant.
The team was Shahrukh Nawaz, Shane O’Sullivan, Oisín Dwane, Azim Bhayla, Eoin Conroy, Stephen O’Sullivan, Aidan Donegan, James Flynn and Brendan O’Brien (who could not travel to Galway) from 4th year and Gavin McCarthy from 2nd Year.