Imhotep’s Legacy Academy’s FIRST Lego League (FLL) team, “Legos R Us”, from Oxford Junior High School has been nominated, as 1 of 20 global finalists (1 of 3 from the whole of Canada), to attend the Seventh Annual FIRST Global Innovation Award Ceremony. This year, the finals will be held in Washington, DC from June 18 – June 20, 2017, and the FLL students have a chance to be recognized, gain valuable experience, and win funds towards improving their prototype.
The team designed an ingenious solution to help solve the problem on Sable Island where the iconic Sable Wild Horses are becoming habituated to buildings. The Global Innovation Award (GIA) judges reviewed a synopsis of their project and were very enthusiastic about their solution.
This opportunity will be an amazing experience for our FLL students, providing them with advice and access to resources relevant to pursuing their innovative solution and building life-long innovative thinking skills, such as marketing, intellectual property, presentation literacy, and so much more. It will also build confidence in their own capacity, and drive them to success in school and extracurricular activities.
Substantially funded by Dalhousie University and working out of the Dalhousie Killam Memorial Library, Dalhousie University students are hired to serve as mentors to junior high and high school kids in the HRM through Imhotep’s Legacy Academy (ILA). ILA has four core programs which provides support and engages students of African heritage in STEM studies from grade 6 to their post-secondary education at Dalhousie University. ILA Board members, majority of whom are Dalhousie faculty, also serve as mentors to the hired students, therefore creating a tri-mentorship system that has proved successful over the years.
This is evident in how far the FLL team has come with so much support. Approximately $16,000 will be required to cover the travel, accommodation and meal costs for 7 students, 1 Coach, 1 Mentor and 1 teacher as a Chaperone over the 4 nights of the event.
The FLL team is currently working on the programming and hardware of the prototype using suggestions they received from the GIA judges. They are scheduled to meet with representatives from Parks Canada (for a second time) in May, to present the upgraded system and reevaluate its feasibility. They are looking forward to meeting with an Electrical Engineering professor at Dalhousie University to assess their prototype.
The team has taken this challenge heads-on and are excited about the trip and the possibilities that lie ahead.
Imhotep’s Legacy Academy (ILA), an initiative between Dalhousie University and various community partners, provides programs intended to support and enrich the knowledge of S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects amongst students of African heritage in grades 6 – 12 throughout Nova Scotia. The FIRST Lego League program is one of our core programs which exposes the students to robotics programming, systematic problem solving, and instills core values like team work and professionalism.
This year our team won the Robot Design Award at the NSCC qualifiers competition which helped secure us a place in the Acadia Provincial Competition. The FLL team traveled to Acadia University and returned with the 2017 Innovative Solution Award and a nomination from the Judges to be considered for the Global Innovation Award. The team submitted a 1 page summary of their project to the GIA judges, and they selected us to be one of 20 finalists for this year’s Global Innovation Award.
Despite numerous roadblocks, the team has worked together to develop the Animal Deterrent System and construct a prototype. They worked almost 6hrs a week both with the FLL Mentor and independently. When sessions couldn’t be held at the schools, they devoted their weekends to ensure that the solution was up to par. This trip will provide them with proper recognition for their efforts and give them an experience they will never forget!
The funds raised will provide both Dalhousie students and Oxford Junior High School students with the opportunity to attend this world-class event. They will get to meet and speak with their peers and gain a broader perspective of the possibilities and potential they can achieve in STEM fields.
Also, this will serve as encouragement to other students in the community and create awareness for all the support systems that Dalhousie University, through ILA, have setup to empower our community.