News and Events

Students work with Tarmac in LEGO challenge

We are very excited to be working with local employer, Tarmac, to take part in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge. Supervisors, Engineers and Apprentices from Tarmac are mentoring a group of Year 10 students over 12 weeks as part of this international competition. The challenge aims to inspire young people to get involved in science and technology, and also supports them to improve their communication, problem solving and team building skills by designing, programming and racing a LEGO robot.

Our team of seven boys and girls will be competing against other local schools as they prepare their robot to complete as many missions as possible within a set timeframe. They will also research a project idea which they will present to a judging panel to showcase their ideas, describe what they have learnt and demonstrate how they have worked together.

This is a brilliant opportunity for our students to work closely with an employer and to learn valuable new skills which will help them at school, at post-16 and on into the world of work. Mark O’Dwyer, Infrastructure and Automation Engineer at Tarmac, said:

“Tarmac have trained and employed young people for many years at both Tunstead and Hindlow quarries through their Apprenticeships and Graduate Schemes… We wanted to bring some engineering experience into local schools in a fun and exciting way... Tarmac Engineers have been mentoring the students and we have been really impressed with their ideas, enthusiasm, and excitement and how they have divided the tasks between themselves to progress through the challenge. It’s been great to be a part of this and we are looking forward to seeing the final result.”

The FIRST programme was originally founded by Dean Kamen (the creator of the Segway) who then joined forces with the owner of the LEGO Group, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, in 1998 to create the FIRST LEGO League. It is also supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
We are looking forward to seeing how our team performs on competition day in Buxton in March. There will be several heats in the UK, and the overall winners of these will have the opportunity to compete internationally. A big thank you to Tarmac for sponsoring and supporting our students with this opportunity.

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