A TEAM from West Linton Primary School has won the local heats of an engineering and technology competition.

The P7 youngsters beat off nine other teams in the regional final of the First Lego League Hydro Dynamics competition held in Edinburgh recently.

It was one of three heats held in Scotland, with the other two located in Glasgow and Dundee. The winners of each heat will travel to Bristol to compete in the UK national finals on February 24. The winners will then go to the world finals in America.

A quarter of a million children between the ages of nine and 16 in more than 80 countries worldwide take part in the challenge.

This year’s theme was water – how we find it, transport, use and dispose of it.

The ‘West Linton Water Dragons’ team, made up of Hamish Weipers, Aaron McKay, Joe Rodgers, Joe Ledger, Caelan Knight, Rory Edwards, Thomas Ross, Ross Wolfenden and Harry Stoker had to take on two challenges.

At the competition, they had to design, build and program a robot out of Lego to tackle as many of the water-themed ‘missions’ as possible in two and a half minutes. The more missions it achieved in the time, the more points the team scored.

Their robot, called ‘The Kraken’, achieved a top score of 215 points, the highest of any of the Scottish heats. Before the heats, the team also ran a water-based engineering project. With the help of Scottish Water and property developers Springfield, the team set out to save water.

They ran a toothbrush challenge at the school asking pupils to turn off the tap whilst they brushed their teeth. The youngsters discovered that leaving the tap on whilst brushing their teeth wastes over ten litres of clean (treated) water each time. Water butts were installed at the school, so the ‘grey’ (untreated) water collected could be used to wash floors and windows, saving the need to use treated water.

As the team prepares for the finals in Bristol, the next step is to look for high-volume water users across West Linton to take the issue of saving water one step further. The group has approached West Linton Fire Station to see if they can work together and help save treated water at the station.