Longford girl guide scoops Lego League prize

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Lego League

Irish Girl Guides’ Team Sparrots. Emma Dobson (14) of Ardagh Senior Branch, Longford, is pictured second from right in the front row.

A Longford girl was on an Irish Girl Guides team that scooped first place in the research category of the FIRST LEGO League Leinster finals, which took place recently in Dublin City University (DCU).

Emma Dobson (14) of Ardagh Senior Branch (Senior Branch is the Irish Girl Guides branch for 14-30 year olds) spent several months working on the project, which explored how astronauts could grow vegetables in space.

Her other team-mates, all members of the Irish Girl Guides, came from all around the country, which made working together challenging.

They met five times for full day workshops in DCU’s Lego Innovation Studio and, fittingly, chose the name ‘Sparrots’ as their team name (sparrots = carrots & space)!

As well as developing a research project based on identifying a human physical or social problems faced during long-duration space exploration and proposing a solution, the girls also had to design, build and programme a robot to undertake various challenges on a themed playing field during the finals. They named their robot Pablo!

The FIRST LEGO League is an international competition involving children and young people from age 11 to 16 from 80 countries. The teams operate under a signature core set of values, which include teamwork, sharing of experience, discovery, the spirit of friendly competition and co-operation.

Emma hugely enjoyed taking part in the competition and winning the research category was the icing on the cake.

“I really enjoyed taking part in the LEGO League,” she said.

“I loved meeting all the new people and making friends with them. I learned a lot about programming robots and, overall, it was a great experience. I’m glad people are finally realising that girls can do things just as well as boys and that DCU and Learnit Lego are supporting girls all around Ireland.”

Irish Girl Guides welcomes new members from age 5-30 and new volunteer leaders from age 18+. No previous Guiding experience is necessary.

To find out more, see www.irishgirlguides.ie or tel: 01 6683898.