Regal Rentals sponsors Ashfield Junior School in First Lego League

Regal Rentals is proud to announce its sponsorship of Cumbria’s Ashfield Junior School in their FIRST LEGO League.

The FIRST LEGO League is a global science and technology competition which sees pupils from various schools competing nationally. In total, more than 250,000 young people are taking part in the scheme.

This years’ theme is HYDRO DYNAMICS, challenging pupils to learn all about water – how we find it, transport it, use it or dispose of it.

Team members must research the subject as a team, identify one or more missions to solve then build, test and program an autonomous robot that can solve the mission or missions using LEGO MINDSTORM.

10 pupils at the school aged between 9 and 11 are taking part in the challenge.

The FIRST LEGO League launched in 1999 and is a way for schools to encourage children to develop key skills that will be useful for their future careers and increase their general awareness of real world issues.

The school’s entry in the competition is being supported by Regal Rentals, an independent licensee of AVIS Budget, which operates 13 branches across the North of England and Scotland including in Workington, Barrow In Furness, Carlisle and Lancaster.

Sandra Stainton, Teacher at Ashfield Junior School said: “The children are really enjoying their FIRST LEGO League and finding out more about water and its origins.

“They are in the process of working up a solution to make water drinkable and creating a robot that can help them in this mission. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is one of the most popular parts of the programme.

“We ran a LEGO club last year at the school and the children really enjoyed it so naturally, when we heard about the FIRST LEGO League we jumped at the chance. We are so grateful to have the backing of Regal Rentals.”

Tony Burns, Commercial Manager at Regal Rentals said: “We are delighted to give our support to Ashfield Junior School in funding this fantastic competition.

“We are pleased to hear that the scheme has so far been very successful for the school and we can’t wait to see what the children have designed.

“We think the FIRST LEGO League is a fantastic way to open up opportunities for children to develop their skills in science and technology-based subjects and spark an interest that wasn’t necessarily there before.”

The children were also keen to speak about how much they are enjoying the FIRST LEGO League.

It’s good because I like building Lego and I like studying how to get water to different places.” – Roman

It’s fun to work with Lego and I enjoy coding robots. I have researched coding at home as well.” – Kaidyn

I think it’s fascinating to be able to build robots out of Lego. It is very creative and helps children’s imaginations.” – Elyse

I enjoy programming robots and building them. I hope to do something like this in my job in the future.” – William

Find out more about the FIRST LEGO League here.

Are you ready for winter?

The roads throw up all sorts of difficulties during the winter months.

Whether it’s rain or ice on the roads – which can significantly increase your braking distance – or lowered visibility during the shorter days, it’s wise to prepare now before winter truly kicks in.

To help, Regal Rentals has put together a guide complete with some of the key things you should consider.

Preparing your car

• Tyre pressures can drop significantly when the weather gets colder, so it is particularly important to check that your tyres are in good working order and have sufficient tread depth. 1.6mm is the legal limit, but it is a good idea to replace your tyres before they reach this point. Research has also shown that well maintained tyres can have a big effect on stopping distances on slippery roads.
• It goes without saying that you should ensure your windows and mirrors are de-misted before setting off on your journey. Never use water to defrost the windows.
• Check your lights. They can get filthy with spray during winter, so keep them clean and inspect bulbs regularly to ensure that you’ll be prepared for the darker and more difficult conditions.
• Refresh your screen wash and put it into winter dilution mode. And check your wiper blades – do they leave streaks? If so, it’s best to get them replaced.
• Add anti-freeze to your car radiator.
• Pack some extras into your car should you be caught off guard. It’s wise to include a de-icer, ice scraper, snow shovel, gloves, boots, a hat, a torch, a first aid kit and a bottle of water. You should also add food, blankets and a warm drink for longer journeys.
• Always ensure you have a full tank of fuel in case you are delayed.
• Book your vehicle in for a service. This will give you peace of mind that everything is in working order come the winter months.

Preparing for your journey

• Keep in mind that the average braking distance in wet weather is double that of fine weather and this increases ten-fold in icy conditions. So, if you are travelling at a speed of 30mph with no adverse weather conditions, your braking distance would typically be 14m, but in wet weather this would increase to 28m and in icy weather, a staggering 140m.
• During winter, the sun sits lower in the sky and this can result in glare, so don’t put your sunglasses into storage just yet! Remember: if the sun is behind you, it’s facing those drivers coming towards you. It’s important to stay aware.
• Tell someone you trust when you are heading off on a longer journey and advise them of your expected arrival time.

Preparing yourself

• If in doubt, slow down.
• Give yourself extra time to complete your journey.
• Keep your mobile phone fully charged.
• Keep some extra distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, given larger braking distances in wet and icy conditions (it’s wise to increase the 2 second rule to 4 seconds or more).
• On colder days and particularly on tree-lined roads, be aware that the trees can prevent the sun’s warmth from reaching the road, so there may still be icy patches when areas elsewhere have thawed.
• When driving in snow, use the highest possible gear to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and if you do start to skid, ease off the accelerator but don’t brake suddenly.
• If behind salting vehicles, maintain a safe distance behind them and don’t attempt to overtake.
• Should you get into trouble, remember it is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving. Do not stay in your vehicle – find a safe place away from the hard shoulder. The Fire & Rescue Service recommends staying near your vehicle until help arrives, as abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue teams and snowploughs. If you need to leave your vehicle to get help, ensure that other drivers can see you.

Further useful links for winter weather and traffic information can be found here:
Met Office weather updates
Highways Agency travel updates