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Telford children discover their superpowers at LEGO League event

School children from across Telford and Wrekin came together at AFC Telford last week for the final of the second LEGO® League Explore programme, sponsored by Telford & Wrekin Council and Morris Property.

The programme, aimed at students aged six to nine years old, introduces a scientific challenge to help develop new skills and inspire a love of learning while having lots of fun with Lego.

Ten schools took part in the competition, which challenged small teams to research, design and make prototypes to harness alternative energy sources to create new superpowers. Over the preceding ten weeks, more than 100 children took part, supported by project volunteers.

On Friday, children presented to judges from both Morris Property and Telford & Wrekin Council before immersing themselves in technologies such as code breaking and 360 tours before the final prize giving ceremony.

Telford & Wrekin Council sponsored the LEGO League Explore programme and purchased the LEGO kits through its social value fund raised as part of the Ni.PARK phase two construction project.

Ni.PARK Phase two, on the outskirts of Newport, is Telford and Wrekin Council’s latest direct investment at the site where Morris Property were awarded the contract to construct three new commercial units.

The 10,000 sq ft units, which are available to let from July, will be owned and managed by the council’s estates and investments team.

Phase one of the Ni.PARK project has already delivered a series of smaller units at the innovative agricultural technology park which are occupied by agri-tech businesses or firms with links to the agri-tech sector – making it a hub for knowledge, expertise and industry networking.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force on 31 January 2013, requiring people who commission public services to think about how they can also secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits. This can include monetary sums generated through social value.

The fund can only be spent in the Telford and Wrekin area and so schools within the borough were approached to participate.

Morris Property Construction Manager, Steve Flavell said: “We’ve been seriously impressed today by the innovations designed by the teams.

“They have worked so hard to identify problems and find solutions, working closely in their teams to impress the judges.

“We are proud to sponsor the LEGO® League Explore programme and directly engage with these young people – they have bright futures ahead of them.”

As a fifth-generation family business, Morris Property has a track record of working with young people and investing in local communities, from supporting apprenticeships to transforming school environments.

Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for place (the economy & neighbourhood services) said: “This programme has provided a great opportunity to utilise some of the social value fund brought forward as part of the Ni.PARK development.

“We’re proud to support this programme and help local school students with their learning along the way.

“Ni.PARK has become an outstanding centre of agricultural excellence in Newport and we are pleased to have co-sponsored the LEGO programme through the social value fund it has raised.”

Councillor Eileen Callear (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for education, employment & visitor economy, who was on the judging panel for the competition, said: “This has been a really exciting opportunity to promote science, technology, engineering and maths to primary schools across the borough using the LEGO kits as a tool for exploration and learning.

“It was wonderful to be involved in judging the competition and seeing some of the fantastic prototypes local school children have created using LEGO – the culmination of 10 weeks of hard work.

“Hopefully, being part of this programme will help inspire youngsters to become researchers, designers or engineers as a future career.”

To make an enquiry about the three new units at Ni.PARK, please call Telford & Wrekin Council’s estates and investments team on 01952 384333 or email estates&[email protected]

Or for more information visit www.estatesandinvestments.gov.uk