Robotics is alive and well at Trafalgar Castle as our Lower School is now home to three different teams: The Water Dragon’s (grade 5 team), The Trafalgar Dragons (non-competitive team) and Waldo Juniors (competitive team). All three teams encourage girls to learn more about and/or pursue their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).
On December 2nd Trafalgar’s teams participated in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Canada competition at Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby. The girls competed against students aged nine to 14 from across the region in hopes of qualifying for provincials in January.
The team has been working since September to prepare for the competition. “We met every Friday at the beginning of the year, but in the last few months the Waldo Juniors have met two to four times per week,” Mrs. Senior, faculty and Trafalgar FLL coach shares.
FLL is an opportunity to introduce younger students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Each year a new theme is introduced and teams design a functioning robot based on that theme. For this year’s theme of Hydro dynamics – using, finding, transporting and disposing of water – the Waldo Juniors designed a water collection system based off a cactus. Mrs. Senior explains, “They are calling their product Cacti-Blue. It’s a water filtration system buried underground with the appearance of a Cacti. The underground system absorbs condensation from the air, sends it through a variety of filters, and produces clean, drinkable water.”
After a full-day of competition, the Trafalgar FLL teams anxiously awaited results. Mrs. Senior shares “I was so proud of all of the girls. They worked so hard and demonstrated such a strong friendship throughout the process.” The hard work paid off as the School took home several awards. Our Trafalgar Dragons won the Core Values Trophy, Waldo Juniors placed second to advance to provincials and Mrs. Senior was the recipient of the Best Coach Trophy!
“Of course the Trafalgar wins were a competition highlight; but, for me, the real highlight was the teamwork and positive energy,” shares Mrs. Senior. Moving forward the team will be working towards completing more missions and increasing their overall Robot Score. They will also be tweaking their project to showcase the water collection and filter system for provincials.