This month saw the thrilling return of the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge tournament to Peterborough and Yate, a regional STEM competition delivered by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and sponsored by Whirlpool, the home of Hotpoint. Six teams of local primary school children, aged 9 to 11, competed in a range of LEGO robotics-themed challenges at the Hotpoint showroom in Peterborough. This followed from Whirlpool’s sponsorship of the South-West tournament at their tumble dryer factory in Yate near Bristol at the start of March which hosted 9 local primary schools.
Ian Moverley, Director of UK Communications at Whirlpool said: “We’ve been proud to fully fund the Peterborough and Yate tournaments for the last 4 years, and long may that continue. It has been a pleasure to see the innovation and enthusiasm expressed by the younger students today. We have been extremely impressed by their programming skills and creative ideas when solving the problem of energy in today’s world. A big thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time to help run the final as well including many colleagues from our Peterborough and Yate sites.”
Following months of preparation, student teams battled against each other with LEGO robots which they had designed, built and programmed to autonomously complete as many missions as possible on a LEGO playing field, all within the 2.5-minutes. Teams were also tasked with presenting their Innovation Project to a panel of judges which, this year, involved identifying a problem tackling energy storage and consumption. In addition, students were assessed on their strategy and computer science skills that were behind their robot’s design.
Longthorpe Primary School were crowned overall champions of the Peterborough tournament with Frenchay Primary School the Yate winners, both securing a place in the national finals, which will be hosted by the IET at the end of April in Harrogate.
Through the FIRST® LEGO® League tournament, teams are encouraged to demonstrate the FIRST® signature set of Core Values which celebrate discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.