FIRST LEGO League winners

A team from St Anselms’s Catholic School, Canterbury, has become this year’s winner of the Kent Regional Final of the FIRST LEGO League competition at the University of Kent, having scored consistently well throughout the tense but fun-filled tournament. The team will now go on to the UK National Final at the Ford Technical Centre, Essex on 7 December. The winners of this will go forward to an event in the USA early in 2005.FIRST LEGO League (FFL) is an international programme for children aged 10-16 years that combines a hands-on, interactive robotics programme with a sports-like atmosphere using the Lego Mindstorms Robotics Invention System. Teams consist of 7-10 players with the focus on team building, problem solving, creativity and analytical thinking. Each year, teams face a challenge emulating a real world event or situation and must research, plan, build, programme and test a fully autonomous robot capable of accomplishing that challenge – within eight weeks.The 2004 FLL challenge is for teams to utilize robotics technologies to assist people with varying levels of physical abilities, looking at everyday settings in a whole new way with an eye on how technology and fresh thinking can make a difference in creating equal access for all.Other winners from this year’s Kent Regional Final were (team names in brackets): Robot Performance Award – North School, Ashford (Cybernetics Corp); No Limits Cup – Maidstone Grammar School for Girls (MGGS Model Makers); Robot Design Award – The Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury (The Langton Lions); Team Work Award – St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone; Team Spirit Award – The Norton Knatchbull School, Ashford (NK Crew).Participating schools were: Kent College, Canterbury; St Anselm’s Catholic School, Canterbury; The North School, Ashford; The Norton Knatchbull School, Ashford; Maidstone GS for Girls; Aylesford School, Aylesford; St Simon Stock Catholic School Maidstone; Gravesend GS for Boys, Gravesend; The Simon Langton GS for Boys, Canterbury.The 2004 Kent Regional Final was hosted jointly by the Computer Science Department and the Electronics Department of the University of Kent and took place in the university’s sports centre.The event was organised by Janet Linington, a computer science lecturer and schools liaison officer at the university, and was organised as a part of the computing laboratory’s outreach programme to schools. Other components of this programme involve schoolteacher training sessions in the Java programming language, and school visits for hands-on robot programming sessions – for further information and details please contact Janet Linington ( or Simon Thompson ( Kent Regional Final of the FIRST LEGO League competition was sponsored by Pfizer and SETPOINT Kent and Medway.