Almost 50 teams from across the country participate in an event that aims to promote scientific and technological vocations among young people
More than 10,000 students between 10 and 16 years have participated in the tenth edition of the First LEGO League (FLL) in Spain. Just over 500 of them, divided into 48 teams, will travel to Girona next weekend, 12 and 13 March, to take part in the Grand Final of this competition is an educational and scientific, that in this year participants poses a challenge related to waste management.
The aim of this competition is to promote scientific and technological vocations among young people, at a time of growing demand worldwide and especially in countries like Spain-professional profiles related to engineering, programming and physical sciences and mathematics .
According to the report of the European Commission’s New skills and jobs in Europe (pdf) employment needs in these areas will grow by 14% by 2020, a figure that far exceeds the average increase in global demand for workers to end of the decade in Europe (which is expected 3%). In Spain, the gap between the number of university students who are training in these areas and expected demand for employment is very significant.
Thus, in addition to recreational and educational component, the First LEGO League aims to play an important role in the growth of the 80 countries worldwide where it is held. “In addition to developing skills and competencies, children learn to work together, to communicate, to make decisions and acquire an entrepreneurial spirit among many other things,” says Berta Roca, head of communications for First LEGO League in Spain .
Each year, the organization presents a scientific challenge related to a current problem. This year is about waste management. Participating teams must identify a real problem and develop a scientific project that offers a concrete solution. In addition, all teams must program a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to exceed, in a time of two and a half minutes, a series of missions related to waste on a board built for the occasion.
This part of the competition, the game Robot, is one that arouses more enthusiasm among young participants, mechanical engineering. But it is also a strategic objective of learning. In fact, the advantages of teaching robotics in schools are being explored in many countries, already included in the curricula of their schools subjects related to mechanical devices that can be programmed for children.
In addition to solving the scientific project and the challenge of the robot, participants must demonstrate to have acquired other no less important values: commitment to colleagues, cooperation, inclusion, professional courtesy and respect. So the FLL is #muchomasquerobots, as can be seen through the hashtag collecting trace on social networks this educational adventure:
Spain is the first European country in number of participants in the First Lego League teams, and the second worldwide behind the United States. Of the 16 teams participating in the 2006 edition, the first held in Spain, has gone to more than 1,350 teams this year. Worldwide, 233,000 young people have participated. Many of them are scientists and entrepreneurs of the future pillars of economic and human development of countries.
Courtesy Car Service Barcelona