Peterborough-based Whirlpool UK Appliances, parent company of KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit brands, hosted its first IET First Lego League tournament.
It brought together nine teams from local primary schools to take part in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) competition.
Almost 100 local primary school children from Peterborough and Huntingdon took part in the tournament to develop their STEM skills through a series of project-based, robotics and teamwork-led challenges.
The Planters from Huntingdon Primary School was presented with the Champions’ Award and will progress to the IET First Lego League England and Wales Final, taking place in Bristol on February 22, 2020.
First Lego League is a global science and technology challenge, for students aged nine to 16, and sees over 310,000 young people (in 38,800 teams), from across 100 countries, develop their STEM skills.
Through its regional tournament and sponsorship, Whirlpool UK Appliances has been able to fund 10 teams from local schools to participate.
Over the past five months, teams have been working together to build and programme autonomous robots, using a Lego Mindstorms kit.
Teams had to use their robots to complete as many missions as possible on the themed Lego playing field, in a time-limit of just 2.5 minutes.
The team that scored the most points and was awarded the Robot Game prize was Rowan’s Robots from Kimbolton Primary Academy.
As well as being judged on their robot’s performance, teams were also assessed on the thought process behind their robot’s design and their programming skills.
The Robot Design prize was awarded to team NHA SuBob from Newark Hill Academy.
This year’s Lego League theme, City Shaper, is based around architecture and the spaces that we live in.
Part of the challenge for teams was to complete an Innovation Project where teams explore issues such as transportation, accessibility and natural disasters.
They were asked to question ‘How can we shape a better future for everyone?’ and present their solutions, with Nene Valley taking home the Innovation Project Award.
Throughout the entire challenge, teams operate under, and are asked to demonstrate, a set of core values, which celebrate discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.
This year’s Core Values winner was Longthorpe Primary School, who were praised by the judges for their passion for the tournament.
Public affairs director of Whirlpool UK Appliances Ian Moverley commented: “We have always followed the First Lego League tournament and are thrilled that we have been able to get involved this year.
“Through the competition, we’ve been able to offer local schools the opportunity to develop their STEM skills, as well as offering them an understanding of the local career possibilities that are out there.
“First Lego League has been a valuable initiative for our colleagues to be a part of too.
“It’s been a real team effort as colleagues from all areas of the company have donated their time to help prepare for the competition.
“In the past few months, we have had colleagues help revamp the spaces for the tournament, attend training sessions for their volunteer roles on the big day, and even help build some of the Legoplaying fields!
“Seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of everyone in the build-up and during the tournament has been incredible.”