For the second time in 15 years, Canadian students excelled at a global robotics competition.
Toronto’s Bayview Glen School came in first out of 32,000 teams at the FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) LEGO League world festival, held in St. Louis in April.
The FIRST competition aims to inspire and engage students in STEM areas by teaching them critically important skills that could be applicable in their future careers.
All teams in the FIRST LEGO League were asked to research and solve a real-world problem that was related to human and animal interaction. They were also asked to design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS and then compete on a table-top playing field.
The 5831 Ctrl-Z team made up of 7 members – two girls and five boys -- between the ages of 10 and 14, went head-to-head with teams from 80 countries around the world in three different events and emerged victorious.
Ontario FIRST LEGO League director, David Ellis, told CTVNews.ca that Ctrl-Z performed “exceptionally well” in all three rounds of the competition.
In particular, their proposed invention of a pet finder wowed judges.
Ellis explained that the team came up with a dog collar that would be connected to the owner’s phone. If the dog wanders outside the distance limit, an alert would be sent to the owner’s phone.
The collar would also have a speaker and a laser projector that would give out the owner’s information to anyone who might happen upon the lost pet.
Ellis is proud and thrilled a Canadian team took home top prize.
“It’s pretty remarkable,” he said, “anytime you bring home a world championship it puts you on the map and puts you in front of people you might not regularly encounter.”