These children received the award during a ceremony held on 4th March 2023.
First Lego League Challenge is an international robotics competition for students aged 9-16 that aims to inspire young people to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. The competition challenges teams to design, build, and program autonomous robots using LEGO kits to complete a set of missions on a themed playing field.
New Generation Academy participated with children aged between 9 and 11 leveraging their prowess acquired from the school which runs a three-year ‘Coding and Robotics’ Programme.
It was the only primary school that participated in the competition that attracted 35 schools including Saint André, Fawe Girls Schools, Gashora Girls School, Maranyundo Girls School, Green Hills Academy, Petit Seminaire, Lycée de Kigali and College Christ Roi de Nyanza among others.
According to the Managing Director of New Generation Academy, Jean Claude Tuyisenge, the winning project was an energy-saving system that uses artificial intelligence to detect and switch off lights in unoccupied rooms.
The system addresses a common problem where people often forget to switch off lights as they leave home, similar to leaving a water tap running. The students’ project won in the category of "The Most Innovative School."
These children topped other contestants in the category of ‘The Most Innovative School’.
Tuyisenge has explained that it will build children’s confidence and inspire them to further develop their skills for their skills and passion for robotics and coding.
“Children have learnt that their creativity is much needed. Usually, learners from primary school believe that the reward of their performances is limited to teachers’ grades and appreciation of parents. At this stage, they do not fully understand that their works can impact the society,” he noted.
“The contest provided a platform to learn that their innovations can change the society. When they make a toy, or robot that is appreciated by the country and earns them an award; it cements their confidence, encourages them to work hard and do more,” added Tuyisenge.
He disclosed that the school plans to introduce a new project dubbed “Code and Solve” aimed at teaching learners to solve problems affecting the society including epidemics and disasters among others.
“Every learner should strive to find solutions to real-world problems early. It does not start during adulthood. Bringing those problems to the attention of children, helps them to grow with zeal to find solutions for the country, Africa and the world,” underscored Tuyisenge.
New Generation Academy has committed to make robots mainly using equipment sourced locally.
Sources indicate that the school has already entered a deal with Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) of harmonizing Coding and Robotics program with Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).
Today, five schools where the program will be piloted have been selected.
New Generation Academy will train teachers to make robots among others.