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They combined art with technology to innovate

Combining art and technology enabled them to win the ‘First Lego League’ competition

The first team from College Christ Roi de Nyanza was the winner of the final round of international competitions that bring together various institutions, focusing on creating a technology project involving robots that could contribute to solving problems.

This school was represented by two teams. Both were predominantly young, including students in the second year of secondary school.

After winning the competition, we spoke with the representative of the first team, who told us that the idea of combining art with technology was one of the reasons they surpassed others in the competitive position.

The First Lego League competitions, attended by students aged 9 to 16, are organized to encourage them to learn and love STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. This was the second time it was held in Rwanda.

The event was attended by students from 25 schools in Rwanda, one from Uganda, four from Nigeria, and three from Botswana.

Shema Almel, a fourth-year student at College Christ Roi de Nyanza, studying Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, mentioned that his team developed a ‘Virtual Reality’ technology project, which allows users to feel as if they are in a different world from the real one.

Using materials such as cardboard, glasses, and straps, they created goggles that one can wear to see themselves in different places other than where they are physically.

“We tried to find something that would entertain anyone, regardless of their age, and chose VR. It took us about a month to build it because we spent a lot of time on research,” said Almel.

Almel expressed great pleasure in sharing the stage with the country’s president during the closing ceremony of the event.

“The first thing to celebrate is the computer the president promised us; the second is the flight ticket we were granted to represent Rwanda in international competitions like this,” he stated.

The victory of these students means that College Christ Roi de Nyanza will represent Rwanda in the United States at the First Lego League competitions in April this year.

Almel mentioned that being supported by many people gave them more strength and love for what they do. “Our teachers really support us, by providing us with a place for our research and other resources including machines, internet, and time.

Our parents also boost our morale, convincing us that we can do it and showing us the many opportunities we can find in this. For me, when I tell my parents, they make me see how much I can achieve from this.”

In the First Lego League, students are given Lego building blocks to construct a robot of their choice. They have two and a half minutes to use the robot to complete 15 different tasks.

Each team representing a school plays three different games, and the one with the highest score is counted.

When playing with these robots, there is a referee responsible for ensuring the games meet the requirements, followed by a judging panel that decides who outperforms the others.

The criteria for winning the competitions include the design of the robot used in the games, overall performance, teamwork, inclusivity, how well the tasks are completed, and more.

Another important aspect is the project each school is asked to prepare, which must be aimed at solving certain problems. All the scores are then compiled, and the institution with the highest score wins first place.

Straight out of Twitter