International Robotics Competition returns to Gladstone

First Lego® League (FLL), an international competition for primary and junior secondary students, is coming back to Gladstone. This year’s event has more than doubled in size, with 20 teams from around the CQ region participating.  

Teams of up to 10 students will be travelling to Gladstone to compete. Schools from as far away as Claremont and Emerald will compete against schools from the Gladstone Region. The Gladstone Regional FLL Tournament will take place on Saturday, the 3rd of November at CQUniversity, Marina Campus.  

Each year students participating in FLL develop solutions to various problems including scientific and real-world challenges, and coding challenges for sophisticated robot games. Students are judged not only on their problem-identification and solution development but also on their demonstration of team spirit, inclusion, respect and cooperation. Organisers of the tournament have also been delighted this year to have the support of local industry.  

Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) and Rio Tinto Yarwun have jumped on board by providing schools with mentors to assist students in their preparations for the tournament. Dr. Carol Devney, Head Referee of the tournament said, “The benefits students receive from working closely with industry mentors are innumerable. Students improve their 21st Century skills sets, including critical and creative thinking, communication and entrepreneurship. They also get a sense of where a career in STEM might take them.” 

Student preparations have been further supported by Inspiring Australia through their STEM Club grants program. ‘The funding from Inspiring Australia has allowed us to purchase consumable materials and to set teams up for success by travelling to participating schools to familiarise novice teams with the four FLL categories on which teams will be judged at the tournament,’ said Carol. CQUni is also generously supporting this event by allowing event organisers to run the event at the Gladstone Marina Campus. 

Until 2017, the closest FLL tournament was held in the southeast corner of Queensland, and only a handful of Central Queensland students participated. Introduction of FLL Gladstone Regional has given students, coaches, volunteers and mentors from across CQ the opportunity to take part in exciting, engaging and real-world problem-solving activities close to home.