The NXT Lego Mindstorms Challenge 2011

This year, Embed 2011 exhibition was held between 12th and 17th May 2011 at the Sacra Infermeria Hall, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta. As in the past two years, this exhibition showcased eLearning and the use of digital technology in education.

The computing department within the Curriculum Management and eLearning Department held a competition using Lego NXT Robotic kits which are currently
being used in the secondary curriculum. As part of this event, state and non-state secondary schools were invited to participate in the first robotics challenge of this kind in the Maltese Islands. The following ten schools took part in this event;

  • Gozo College Boy’s Secondary Rabat Gozo
  • Gozo College Girls’ Secondary Rabat Gozo
  • San Anton School, Secondary
  • St Clare College Boys’ Secondary Gzira
  • St Ignatius College Girls Junior Lyceum Blata l-Bajda
  • St Margaret College Boys’ Secondary Verdala
  • St Theresa College Boys Secondary B’Kara
  • St Thomas More College Junior Lyceum Zejtun
  • St. Augustine’s College
  • St. Joseph, Sliema

The time allotted for the challenge was of 2 ½ hours were students had to figure out how to make the Lego NXT Mindstorms navigate through a 3D maze mounted on an 8ft x 4ft board having one entry point on one side and one exit on the opposite side. The aim of this challenge was not intended to gauge teachers’ methods or to differentiate between schools. The main objective of such an activity is to involve students in a fun and challenging learning environment. Through the NXT challenge students were urged to sharpen both their problem-solving and teamwork skills.

The winning group of students included Form 3 students; Cleven Pirotta, Dejan Delia and Neil Griffin from St Margaret College Boys’ Secondary Verdala. Mr Raymond Camilleri, Director (Curriculum Management and eLearning Department) and Mr Stephen Cachia , Principal St Margaret College both congratulated these students and emphasised how the inclusion of such learning artefacts in the classroom enable a learner-centred classroom through which students may better succeed.
embed nxt challenge
Each student in the winning team was awarded a prize kindly sponsored by IMS Ltd, the local suppliers of the Lego Education kits. All competing students have received a certificate of participation.

Keith Aquilina

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