Around 400 schoolchildren from across Cornwall came to RNAS Culdrose this week to pitch their skills in designing and programming Lego robots and taking part in other educational activities. 

Organised by Cornwall Council and the Royal Navy, this was the regional finals of the First Lego League – a national programme to encourage children in science, technology, engineering and maths (known as STEM).

There were 38 teams of pupils from primary and secondary schools that took part in the event, held at the Helston naval base over two days on March 8 and 9.

They each had to design, build and control their robots to perform a series of challenges that involved operating different Lego mechanisms.

Falmouth Packet: A science show was also included in the activitiesA science show was also included in the activities (Image: Royal Navy/LPhot O’Barrow)

Taking the most overall points on both days were two teams from Penpol Primary School in Hayle while the team from Truro High School For Girls was the runner-up. All three will now go on to compete in the competition’s national finals.

A team from Wendron School won best-designed robot. 

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Lieutenant Commander Helen Forster, an engineering officer at RNAS Culdrose, said: “We’ve had a fantastic couple of days.

"It’s been really good to engage with all these schools and communities across Cornwall and also to inspire the next generation into science, technology, engineering and maths. It shows the children that there are opportunities for them in these areas both in Cornwall and further afield.

Falmouth Packet: The children took part in lots of activities at RNAS Culdrose The children took part in lots of activities at RNAS Culdrose (Image: Royal Navy/LPhot O’Barrow)

“It was also an opportunity to open our doors and show them what we do. For instance, some of the children were amazed that we had aircraft here – and I said that the navy is not just about ships.

“I’d like to thank all the schools and their teachers for their support and the team from Cornwall Council led by STEM coordinator Janine Bisson. I’d also like to thank our many industry partners who have kindly sponsored this event.”

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Councillor Barbara Ellenbroek, the cabinet member for children and families at Cornwall Council, said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Lego League Competition at RNAS Culdrose this week.

"The event was a real showcase for some of the exceptional young talent we have here in Cornwall and I’m delighted it proved such a success.

“Not only is the competition huge fun, but it is also a great opportunity to demonstrate teamwork, innovation and creativity. I know that every one of the pupils participating will go far, and I’m very proud of them all.”

Falmouth Packet: Personnel from RNAS Culdrose gives a talk to the children Personnel from RNAS Culdrose gives a talk to the children (Image: Royal Navy/LPhot O’Barrow)

There were also activities for the children, a science show and displays by some of the air station’s departments including the fire station, survival equipment section and drone experts 700X Naval Air Squadron.

Companies sponsoring the event included Celtic Sea Power, Bluefloat, Falck, Seiche, Hexigon, Morwind, Lockheed Martin, ESS and HeliOps, while the following gave their time Digital for ALL, Rowe IT, Spaceport Cornwall, Serco, Cornwall Council Libraries and Cornwall Council Education Business Partnership.