MAGNIFICENT MAGPIES: Front: Bessie, second row: Riley and Nadia, third row: Lucy, Molly and Caitlin, back: Tom, Liam, Micah and their teacher Ainsley Pope from South Grafton Public School who recently won part of the Animal Allies First Lego League competition in Sydney. Absent team member: Kaydence.
MAGNIFICENT MAGPIES: Front: Bessie, second row: Riley and Nadia, third row: Lucy, Molly and Caitlin, back: Tom, Liam, Micah and their teacher Ainsley Pope from South Grafton Public School who recently won part of the Animal Allies First Lego League competition in Sydney. Absent team member: Kaydence. Caitlan Charles

Magnificent Magpies triumphant return

EXCITEMENT and enthusiasm got 10 students from South Grafton Public School across the line at the recent Animal Allies First Lego League in Sydney and into first place for their research on improving the relationship between magpies and humans.

Teacher Aisnley Pope said there was three parts to the competition including programing a robot and solving an unknown problem.

"The third part was their presentation about their magnificent magpies and their swooping problem and that was the one that they won,” Mrs Pope said.

"We were up against 30 Northern Sydney schools from the ages of nine to 16 so it's a huge achievement for South Grafton Public School to take away a win.”

Mrs Pope added that she knew the groups magpies presentation was a good one.

"But to have that reinforced by judges in Sydney that have seen probably hundreds of competitions, it gives the kids that great confidence that we are on the right track with science, technology, engineering and maths,” she said.

"And that project based learning really fulfils so many educational needs for kids because they take ownership of it and they drove this project.

"So for them, I think it gives them great confidence to learn and to be energised and to continue doing great things.”

Mrs Pope added that when the judges were announcing the award, the kids got extremely excited.

"The judges said 'the winner of this part of the competition was a problem the team identified as an issue we have in spring',” she said.

"But I knew there was another team doing bees... but then they said 'they sang, they danced, they'd done a lot of research'.

"The looks on (the kids) faces when they said the Magnificent Magpies brought a tear to my eye, it was so great.”

Mrs Pope said the school plans to keep participating in the Animal Allies First Lego League.

"It's filtered through to the rest of the school and now kids coming up to year five area already asking 'are we doing it next year',” she said.



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