St. Margaret’s students Anna Erickson and Audrey Wang take part in last year’s First Lego League B.C. Championships. The championships will be held at St. Margaret’s on Saturday. Photo submitted

Saanich students put innovative ideas in motion

First Lego League B.C. Championships set for Saturday at St. Margaret’s School

Saanich students will be putting their ideas in motion at a provincial competition this weekend at St. Margaret’s School.

Teams of students from across the province will display their creations at the Saanich school on Saturday for the First Lego League B.C. Championships, which challenges students aged 9 to 16 to come up with robot designs to solve a wide range of real-world issues.

“In terms of the technology side of things, they’re learning coding, they’re learning some of the basic functions in programming language and computational thinking,” said Lauren Hudson, STEM program support teacher at St. Margaret’s.

She said the competition teaches students how to break down a problem, viewing it as a challenge that will take many steps to solve.

“In addition to the technology the students are learning, there’s great opportunity for team building and problem solving,” said Hudson, adding many of the jobs of the future will require working with colleagues.

The theme for this year’s competition is hydro-dynamics, with students asked to come up with innovative ways to find, transport, use or dispose of water. Two teams from St. Margaret’s, with 10 students each, will offer their own solutions to the water crisis.

“One of the teams decided that wasting water is a big issue so the team has prototyped a showerhead that will decrease in temperature after a certain time, which encourages you to leave the shower,” said Hudson. “The other team is looking at water wastage when we irrigate lawns, and they’ve prototyped a different lawn watering system.”

A pair of teams from Lansdowne middle school and one from St. Michaels University School will be among the 28 teams taking part in the competition, which runs Saturday afternoon at St. Margaret’s, 1080 Lucas Ave. Finalists from the regional championships will move on to an international event in the U.S. later this year.

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