On 27 November 2019 Make Happen held its first ever cross-county LEGO Space Challenge competition, at Ormiston Park Academy, South Ockendon.
The day focused on a number of different challenges, with an outer space theme, from clearing asteroids to saving astronauts and bringing them back to base.
The day aimed to show students the range of careers that skills in STEM-related subjects can lead to. It also gave students the opportunity to work on their team-building skills – and in doing so, gain points with the aim of becoming the day’s winning team.
In addition, students were encouraged to reflect on their own work throughout the day, design a space rover, and then assess whether what they had built was the best option for the task at hand.
Participating schools brought along six students, making up two teams of three. The schools that took part were Basildon Academy, De la Salle School, Basildon, Ormiston Park Academy, and King Harold Academy.
Basildon Academy won first place, which meant they won their LEGO kit, and they go through to the final which will be held at the University of Essex at the end of February 2020. King Harold School, who came second, will also go through to the final.
Elise Polley, Make Happen collaborative outreach projects officer, said: “It was a great day and really nice seeing students solving a problem presented to them, hands-on. It was also interesting to see how students were helping other groups from the same school and getting competitive.
“The day helped to highlight how important their current studies are, as well as encourage them to think about the direction they’d like their careers to follow.”