Helensburgh school Lego team off to Spain

Excited: (Clockwise from bottom) Nicola Pang (purple hat), a stand-in for absent teammate Matthew Wheatley, Harri Lahtinen, Max Hayes, Jiah Pang, Andrew Christy and Marnie Parkinson are hopefully heading to Spain after coming second in the First Lego League National Championships.  GREG TOTMAN

Members of Helensburgh’s First Lego League  team have a busy summer of Lego and learning Spanish ahead of them.

Komplete Kaos Inc came second at the First Lego League National Tournament at Macquarie University over the weekend, earning an invitation to attend the European Championships in Spain next May.

The seven students in the team – Jiah Pang, Nicola Pang, Andrew Christy, Marnie Parkinson, Harri Lahtinen, Max Hayes and Matthew Wheatley, all but one of whom attend Helensburgh Public School – were ecstatic.

‘‘I was crying, I was so happy,’’ said Marnie.

The competition requires students to build, design and program a Lego robot, research and solve a problem relating to the theme ‘‘Nature’s Fury’’, and demonstrate teamwork, co-operation and sportsmanship.

Komplete Kaos Inc worked with the SES to research floods and developed an app to act as an  alert system to warn people of a likely flood.

They will spend the next few months improving their robot and learning Spanish phrases, as well as raising money and finding sponsors for the trip, which is self-funded.

If they raise enough, it will be the first journey overseas for some of the team’s members. They all agreed they were most looking forward to meeting competitors from different countries.

‘‘I’m looking forward to the experience at seeing how good the other teams are and just having fun,’’ Andrew said.

‘‘It’s a really friendly environment, if you break down you have teams running to come and help you,’’ added Nicola.

Three other Illawarra teams also made it to the national round – The League of Relatively Ordinary Gentlemen from Smith’s Hill High School, Robo Knights United from Cedars Christian College and Project Bucephalus, made up of home-schooled students in the Illawarra, who took out the Inspiration Award.

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