From September 2012 we are introducing a new event to help encourage more BT employees to get engaged with volunteering whilst supporting the new changes to the computing curriculum for school years 5 to 9.

We are inspring local school students, and BT employees, with this fun engineering and programming activity using Lego Mindstorm NXT kit which should already be available to most schools, or we can provide if necessary to run an event. This is an easy introduction and potential stepping stone towards the Robocup and the First Lego League challenges for those who seriously get the bug.

Each of our four main Global Development Centres, at Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Ipswich, have a set of equipment available for use. It is not currently practical to run this at other locations but we may be able to put you in touch with your local Lego and STEMnet teams for you to find out what other opportunities may be available in your area. Contact Andrew Cassy if you require further details.

The BT Challenge

  1. To design, build and programme a machine using standard Lego parts to take part in a regional and national challenge
  2. Compete in one or more of the following events – full terms and conditions
  3. Robot Sprint – covering a distance of 3 meters in the shortest possible time
    1. Robot Javelin – automatically propel the supplied javelin
    2. Robot Marathon – travel a distance of 9 meters in the quickest time possible
  4. Get your BT Volunteer to witness and submit your validated entries using this online form
  5. Deadline for entries has been extended to the end of the current academic year for results to be registerd online by Friday 21 June 2013
  6. Monitor the leaderboard for the latest record breakers
  7. Winners will be notified in July 2013.

Short YouTube video of the BT Adastral Park DevCon event earlier this year.

Quotes and photos from initial trials of this activity at the Adastral Park Sons & Daughters to Work Days in February 2012 include:

I would like to thank you both for the opportunity to get involved in the Lego Mindstorm event over the last couple of days.  I don’t know about the children, but it was certainly and education for me!  Sally

Just a quick mail to say a big thank you for the event last Monday which my 2 daughters attended. Seems to have been the highlight of their week off but now means I have to buy a Lego Mindstorms kit. The change to the format this year seemed to go down well and I think they learnt quite a bit.   Eryl