On Friday 14th January 2022, primary school students from across Peterborough and Huntingdon competed virtually in the third annual IET FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Whirlpool Peterborough tournament, a STEM competition that encourages young people to develop their programming, teamwork and creative abilities.

In addition, teams of school children from across Bristol competed in the second-ever IET FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Whirlpool Bristol tournament, on Friday 21st January 2022.

Teams of students from across Peterborough and Bristol have been working hard over the last school term in order to prepare for a number of challenges, including building and programming a LEGO robot to complete a series of missions on a LEGO playing field, and developing an Innovation Project, which involved solving a problem linked to the transportation of goods.

During the tournament, which this year was run virtually, teams put their robots to the test and attempted to complete as many missions as possible during the 2.5 minute Robot Game matches. Teams also demonstrated the design and functionality of their robots to a panel of industry judges, as well as presenting their transport-themed Innovation Projects.

Team ‘Longthorpe Legends’ from Longthorpe Primary School were crowned the overall winners of the Peterborough tournament, and Stanbridge Primary School excelled across all challenges and were crowned overall winners of the Bristol tournament, as well as scooping the Champions’ Award. Both teams will now progress to the IET FIRST® LEGO® League national finals on Saturday 26th February 2022, competing against schools from across the UK & Ireland.

Other winners from the Peterborough tournament included: Great Staughton Primary Academy, who scored the top number of points in the Robot Game and ‘The Cheerios’ from Hampton Vale Primary Academy, who were commended in the Robot Design category for their innovative robot design and clearly thought-out mission strategy.

With an outstanding presentation exploring an above-ground, tunnel-based transport system, ‘The 8 Hyper Bits’ from Huntingdon Primary School received the Innovation Project award. Finally, ‘Longthorpe Legends’ also received the Core Values award, a recognition of the team’s commitment to the FIRST® signature set of Core Values: discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.

From the Bristol tournament, other prizes went to Stanbridge Primary School, who also scored the most points during the Robot Game. ‘Best LEGO Team (BLT)’ from Meadowbrook Primary School provided an excellent demonstration of their robot’s design and their mission strategy and were awarded the Robot Design prize. With a highly creative project focused on using public transport to make deliveries, ‘Abbotswood Amigos’ from Abbotswood Primary School were this year’s Innovation Project winners.

FIRST® LEGO® League is a global science and technology challenge which sees almost 680,000 young people (across 110 countries) come together each year to develop their STEM skills. Whirlpool UK has funded its tournament in Peterborough since the 2019-2020 season, and its tournament in Bristol since the 2020-2021 season, with sponsorship including the provision of LEGO SPIKE™ Prime robots to primary schools in the local area, as well as registration to the event.

Ian Moverley, Public Affairs Director, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, said: “It’s a privilege for us to once again sponsor such a fun and significant event for our local schools. Not only does FIRST® LEGO® League enable children to get a taster of the world of engineering through robotics and programming, but they also develop important life skills, like creative thinking, teamwork and kindness. It’s been a challenging couple of years for all schools and I am enormously proud of all of the children for their continued enthusiasm. I would also like to say a big congratulations to all of the teachers who have supported the students throughout the competition – you are all fantastic.

“Despite the event taking place virtually, we had a number of volunteers, from Whirlpool and other local organisations, step forward to support the running of the day and with judging the teams. Thanks to all of you for making this event possible.”

Registration for the next IET FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Whirlpool Peterborough and Bristol tournaments will re-open later this year. Please get in touch with jmm PR who can pass your interest on to Whirlpool UK. Alternatively, please contact Joanna Colley at Joanna.colley@consciouscomms.com