Cape Breton Lego group wants more students to build robots

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SYDNEY — If combining building blocks with robotics sounds a bit ominous, Declan MacLeod is quick to point out that these days, it’s child’s play.

“It’s really cool,” said MacLeod just before an open house was held at Nova Scotia Community College’s Marconi campus Tuesday evening to encourage more children between the ages of nine and 14 to become involved in the First Lego League.

“It’s a lot of fun.”

MacLeod should know — he’s one of the kids who’s already involved and he’s quick to recommend it to his peers.

“We go every Friday at the (James McConnell Memorial) library. We build and program robots made out of Lego with these little computer things that are the brains — basically you can program it to do different things on the computer.”

The NSCC open house showcased the work of second-year web development students and their work programming Lego Mindstorms robots to complete missions.

“What we’re trying to do is to work with the Lego robots to demonstrate the different kind of tasks that you can do with them and how the different sensors that come with them work,” said Everett Gosse, one of the second-year information technology students.

“It’s a group like any other group — it’s meant to give a basic understanding of robotics and hopefully get kids interested in the technology of robotic sciences, all that good stuff,” said Derrick Morton, another NSCC student involved in the project.

Darren Andrews, web development instructor at NSCC Marconi campus, said that while there are already children involved in the area, he would like to see more — especially since there are robot kits available for loan to groups of students interested in taking part in the First Lego League Competition this fall. If those kits aren’t used, he’s worried this area may lose access to them so he’s hopeful more kids will become involved.

“We want to show them that they’re pretty neat things and it doesn’t take all that long to learn,” said Andrews.



Click here to see the original article in the Cape Breton Post.