The first Lego robotics team in Rwanda has completed its first round of training and asserts that it is prepared to compete in the Lego international league, which will take place in September this year. Since November 2021, the team has been receiving robotics training from the Science Technology Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy, US-based STELA, at Bright School in Muhanga District. The five-month training program has come to an end. The parents of the students engaged in the celebration of their children by witnessing a presentation at their school earlier this week. “I had no idea how robots worked when I first joined the robotics team,” said an excited 10-year-old Celestine Ineza, “but now I can put up a program and run it myself or with my team. “I think I’m ready to compete with others,” she said. The first Lego robotics team in Rwanda has completed its first round of training and asserts that it is prepared to compete in the Lego international league. Ineza is able to build a Lego robotic train, bicycle, car, printer, etc. “One day we made a dancing robot which had very strange moves, it was so funny we couldn’t stop laughing,” she added. Visha Ishimwe, the leader of the team, agrees with her. “We do not only learn but we have very much fun as well,” he continued, “At first I wasn’t good with programming Lego robots, I would just play with them. But now I’m confident I will do well in the competition.” The students went through Lego Robotics which is a STEM curriculum that engages students by providing the resources to design, build and program their creations while helping them develop essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. The goal is to be able to make Lego mindstorms, hardware and software structures that are put together from Lego building blocks for the development of programmable robots. The team meets with STELA coaches every Saturday and are occupied by homework for the rest of the week. STELA also provides the team with the necessary equipment including laptops and Lego packages. Ineza Ornella presents her skills in robotics during a training session at Bright School in Muhanga District. Courtesy At the event, parents had fun learning and making Lego robots assisted by their children. “It is comforting to know that they don’t waste time when we send them for every session. We just hope this does not end here and that they get more applications as they grow up,” said Jean Baptiste Biziyaremye, one of the parents. “I can testify to Visha’s love for robotics because he just can’t stop talking about it every time he comes back home. Also, he is the one who helps us all with our phones and any electronics at home, I can only support him,” shared Jeanette Mukamana, Ishimwe’s mother. She added, “I call on my parents to help their children identify their potential at a young age and support them in their many tries and failures as they grow to understand what they really want to do.” Students practicing in front of their parents at Bright School in Muhanga District. All photos Courtesy Two new teams will be formed and start training in May. STELA and Bright school seek to expand this to other interested schools across the country. The Muhanga based Bright school known for teaching its students through play and real-life projects will also have its first graduates undertake the National Examination this year. It is currently leading as the second well-performing school at district level mock tests after Saint-Andre primary school.