Several Unity Schools from Nigeria will later this year compete with their global peers after excelling in last week’s 2-day annual First LEGO League Nigeria National Championship, which was hosted by the Base University, Abuja.
Some of the schools that displayed their robotics ideas are Federal Govrnment College, Odogbolu; Federal Government Girls College – Ikot Obio Itong, Akwa Ibom State; Kings College Lagos and Oginigba Community Secondary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The FIRST LEGO League is an international program for 9- to 16-year-old children created in a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Group in 1998 to get children excited about science and technology – and teach them valuable career and life skills.
Children work alongside adult Mentors to design, build, and program autonomous robots using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and create an innovative solution to a problem as part of their research project.
This year’s Challenge – INTO ORBIT season – called for teams to research and present their own creative solutions to the real-world inspiring expanse – the space.
The competition is judged in three areas: project; robot design, and Core Values, which embody aspects of teamwork and good sportsmanship. Top robot game scores are also honored.
Speaking on the Initiative, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said Nigeria has come of age, to participate at the world stage in any competition. “The competition is well acknowledged and the results of this effort will surely enhance the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister argues that Nigerian youths have shown in many life endeavours that they have all it takes to compete at global stage.
Meanwhile, the Programme Coordinator, Mr. Olajide Ademola Ajayi, has advised the students to embrace innovation and critical thinking, while pursuing skills relevant in the future workplace.
Mr. Ajayi said that the future of work has changed, hence “FLL is a powerful experiential learning program through which students learn grit and perseverance in preparation for overcoming future challenges and making wise decisions in life outside robotics. “It instills and fuels passion for learning new skills and gaining new knowledge in readiness for the future of work”.
On her part, the Director, Technology and Science Education Department, Federal Ministry of Education; Elizabeth Adedigba, said that Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as very crucial in the development of any nation.
According to her, Capacity Building is very key in determining the way the pendulum of development of any nation will swing in the next decade. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. “I want to use this opportunity to appeal to well-meaning Nigerian and other well-wishers of the education to support this initiative of setting the pace for our future generation,” Mrs. Adedigba.
The top three teams from Nigeria will represent the country at various international tournaments, including the World Festival at Houston, Texas and International Open Championships in Turkey, Lebanon, Australia and Uruguay.
The international competitions provide teams with an opportunity to test their mettle against other teams from around the world and also help them realize great learning outcomes
The First LEGO League Tournament is being supported by SAP, Irish Aid, NAPPS and was organized in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education (Nigeria).
The program is organized annually by Coderina; a not for profit organization that leverages technology tools and computing pedagogy to foster an ecosystem of students and teachers well-grounded in applicability of computing, coding and problem solving techniques.