Students battle nature's fury with Lego

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Students taking part in a Lego robotics competition on Saturday used their skills to help design and program items that could help during natural disasters.

The Truro Robotics team took part in the regional Lego robotics competition on Nov 29. The team consists of, from left; Sam Elgee, Ella Goyette, Xavier Barrington, James Robinson, Kyla O’Neill, Jack Sommers, Fraser Robinson, Jacob Byers, Zach Gray and coach Jeremy Goyette.

Nine teams of students, aged nine to 14, showed off their creations at Nova Scotia Community College and took part in robotics challenges judged by NSCC faculty and volunteers.

The theme of this year’s competition was Nature’s Fury and students were encouraged to show how communities can prepare for, and respond to, natural disasters. The Truro Robotics decided to work on something connected to a natural disaster common to the Truro area – flooding.

“We’ve been working on this project for about 12 weeks,” said Jeremy Goyette, who coaches the team. “What the team worked on is called the Safe-T-Wall, which is designed to protect cars from floods. It’s something that is made of plastic and could be carried in the trunk. The problem now is that it would need to be made of the same plastic as the Predator drones. We’ve met with the fire department and contacted professionals and we’re hoping it can be made of something less expensive and be used in the future.”

The nine members of the Truro Robotics meet with their coach at the library twice a week.

“My daughter and I saw a sign and decided to get involved,” said Goyette. “This is my second year as coach and I’ve seen this help some of the young people break out of their shells.

Ella Goyette, who is 11, took part in the competition last year, when her team got a first and a fourth.

“I like presenting to people and building with Lego,” she said. “Sometimes I have to push myself to go to the meetings but once I’m there I’m glad I went. Building a robot is fun because there are lots of different designs.”

She enjoys building other things at home for fun and her father often joins her in her projects.

 Teams at the regional event were competing for the opportunity to move up to the First Lego League (FLL) Nova Scotia Championship Tournament, to be held at Acadia University in February. 

Organizations: Nova Scotia Community College, Truro Robotics, First Lego League Acadia University

Geographic location: Truro

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