A group of young people from Inverness have built on early success to make it to the next stage of an international Lego competition.
The Gravity Troopers are one of six Scottish teams to make it to the UK finals of the FIRST Lego League tournament.
Team members Donald Wright, Katie Elder, Adam Slotwinski, Struan Fraser, Hector MacLennan, Harris Wester and Ethan Parker – all in P6 and P7 – designed, built and programmed a robot using Lego Mindstorms technology.
The league sees groups worldwide test their mechanical, building and computer skills by designing, building and programming their own robots using Lego Mindstorms technology.
The competition aims to help young people broaden their understanding of STEM careers and see how they can apply the skills they gain in school in the real world.
Teams from primary schools, secondary schools and after-school clubs across the north gathered in Inverness for the North of Scotland heat earlier this month – the first time a regional final had been held in the north of Scotland.
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The Gravity Troopers were up against seven other teams from across the Highlands and north of Scotland.
On the day, the robots took part in a series of space-themed missions, where they had to negotiate difficult routes, as well as lifting, pushing and manoeuvring Lego objects. The teams also had to deliver a presentation explaining how they would use technology to overcome a problem faced by space explorers.
The Gravity Troopers were the overall winners for the north of Scotland and took home the prize for best robot game. A second team from the after-school club, the G-Rexes, won best presentation.
Following their win, the Gravity Troopers are now through to the UK-wide finals which will be held in Bristol on February 17.
Alessio Gusmeroli, STEM Engagement Adviser at Skills Development Scotland, said: “All three teams did brilliantly well at the Inverness event – it was great to see all of their hard work come to life on the day.
“My World of Work Live! really opens young people’s eyes to what is possible with STEM, and participating in competitions like FIRST Lego League takes that a step further. The young people have developed their team working skills, their confidence and their technical skills, which is fantastic to see.
“I am very proud of all of our team members, and I cannot wait to see how the Gravity Troopers get on in the next phase of the competition.”