Alpha Academy sets the pace

Shantayae Grant

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

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LAST Friday, Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy was the fifth school to be given the amazing opportunity to build and programme robots.


Being the first all-girls school to experience this great adventure, Alpha proved to be more than willing to take on the challenge.


Despite the challenges, after starting the Halls of Learning’s Lego Yuh Mind Day at 9:00 am, of the 15 groups of three, one team stood out above the rest.


This team consisted of Lyrae Maynard-Reid, Theoni Ellis and Nellisa Asphall.


In addition to first finishing the construction of their robot, this remarkable team was the first to attempt The Curve Turn, one of the three challenges, before lunch time. The other two challenges that each team was expected to overcome were The Point Turn and The Maze. This pace was by far, the fastest out of all the schools, who participated in Lego Yuh Mind Day.


One of the members, Theoni Ellis, had been previously exposed to this learning experience at age nine when she had got the chance to travel to California with Halls of Learning to compete in a robotics competition.


She emphasised, however, that although the two experiences had given her "a better understanding, it was not the reason we (the team) came first. It was because of teamwork."


"It was a very fun experience," Lyrae Maynard-Reid, a team member, shared. "Building a robot from just a small piece of plastic then programming it to do anything you want makes you feel accomplished. The experience was mind-blowing and although I got frustrated after a while, I enjoyed myself a lot."


Amazingly, 14 out of the 15 teams had completed their robots by lunch time and another 12 had moved on to programming.


"Alpha has the highest progress rate, so far," Marvin Hall, founder of Halls of Learning, commented. "My belief is that when girls are introduced to these activities in their own space, they are likely to be successful, as proven here."


The next stop will be St Hugh’s High School.

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