Peterborough-based Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, parent company to KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit, is launching a First Lego League tournament for schools in the local area.
Taking place at the Whirlpool offices on Saturday 18th January 2020, the tournament will see 10 teams of up to 10 students compete in a series of project-based, robotics and teamwork-led challenges.
First Lego League is a global science and technology challenge for 9-16 year olds, which sees over 310,000 young people (in 38,800 teams), from across 100 countries, come together to develop their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills.
Whirlpool is hosting its own First Lego tournament and is funding 10 teams from local primary and secondary schools to participate.
Sponsorship includes all entry fees and a Lego Mindstorms robot provided to the schools.
Registered teams so far include Longthorpe Primary School, West Town Primary Academy, Newark Hill Academy and Sawtry Junior School.
Designed to encourage young people to take an interest in real world issues and develop technology skills, First Lego League has been created to help students to engage in their education and also nurture teamwork, problem-solving and life skills.
The challenge is split into three key parts: the Robot Game, Core Values and the Innovation Project.
In preparation for the Robot Game, teams of young people will build and programme a Lego Mindsotrms robot to complete a series of challenges and score points on a themed playing field.
This year’s theme, City Shaper, is based around architecture and the spaces that we live in and, for the Innovation Project, teams are invited to explore issues such as transportation, accessibility and natural disasters.
They will be questioning ‘How can we shape a better future for everyone?’ and presenting a solution to the problem.
Public affairs director of Whirlpool UK Appliances Ian Moverley, commented: “The First Lego League plays an extremely important role in introducing school children to STEM and helping them to develop the skills they will need for future careers.
“We’ve previously followed the tournament and were always keen to get involved.
“It’s great that now through our sponsorship, we can enable a wide variety of schools to get stuck in and begin their First Lego League journey!
“I’m looking forward to welcoming the teams to our tournament in January and seeing how their skills develop over the coming months.”
Winners of the Whirlpool tournament will be given the opportunity to progress to the UK final in February and then on to the World Festival in Detroit, Michigan, from April 29 to May 2 2020.
The operational partner of the First Lego League in the UK and Ireland is the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
IET education manager of First Lego League Lowri Walton commented: “We are enormously pleased to expand the IET First Lego League in the UK with the addition of the Whirlpool tournament in Peterborough.
“The First Lego League gives students the valuable opportunity to work in teams and develop crucial abilities, such as problem solving, communication and confidence.
“This year’s City Shaper challenge asks young people to be inquisitive and come up with innovative solutions to problems that are faced by architects on a daily basis.
“Every year we are impressed with what we see – I’m excited to see how this year pans out!”
There are still six sponsored places available for the Whirlpool Peterborough tournament.
Teams can be school groups, scout groups, or simply a team of friends, but each team will need at least two adult coaches.
They can be made of up to 10 individuals, aged 9 to 16 years.
If you would like the opportunity to take part, please get in touch with Joanna Colley at Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whirlpool UK is also helping enhance the environment, with its Seabin project.