In just eight short weeks Shoalhaven’s FIRST LEGO League competitors, Team SHuFLLe, are bound for the UK and to help them on their way, Shoalhaven City Council has pitched in with sponsorship.
The team of high school students was the only group chosen from across the country to represent Australia at the University of Bath from June 20 – 24.
“Council is sponsoring us with $5000 for our trip, which is just brilliant to have their support and backing,” parent and team coach Karen Woods said.
“The boys have been presenting to various groups and organisations, and they are all blown away by what they have achieved, that they are representing the country and also the maturity of the boys and how they present themselves.”
Saving the mangroves
As part of the national FIRST LEGO League competition in December, Team SHuFLLe had to come up with an innovative solution that added value to society and suited the competition theme ‘Animal Allies’.
They recognised young mangrove seedlings and plants are impacted by the tide and seagrass, and thus impacted on animals which called it home.
“They presented a mangrove box design to help support mangroves while they are first starting out to Shoalhaven Riverwatch in February and got some really good feedback from them,” Mrs Woods said.
“They said the design was on track, the prototype was too small and Riverwatch said a baby mangrove needs protection until it is 75 centimetres tall.
“The other thing they hadn’t thought of was the seagrass, as the tide goes down the seagrass squashes the mangrove and it’s not strong enough to push it off, their design protects the mangrove and stops the seagrass.”
The teams interaction with Riverwatch has assisted them to transfer their skills in the competition into a real world setting.
“Since the national comp and talking to Riverwatch it has had a huge impact on the way the kids have thought about design,” Mrs Woods said.
“It’s very much an engineering practical type of thing, where you design something, you get feedback from key stakeholders, think about it, redesign it and then trial it.”
Help Team SHuFFLe get to the UK
Team SHuFFLe needs to raise $20,000 and with only eight weeks to go, they have only secured a little more than $6000.