RS Components (RS) has strengthened its commitment to inspiring tomorrow’s engineers by becoming the headline sponsor of the FIRST LEGO League competition in the UK and Ireland, and hosting an East Midlands regional tournament, held in Corby. The RS innovation truck, Titan II, was in attendance at the recent regional tournament, to welcome on board budding engineers of the future.
FIRST LEGO League is a global STEM challenge for teams of young people, to encourage an interest in real world themes and develop key skills that are crucial for their future careers. The two-day tournament involved 20 teams of children aged 9-16 years-old from schools in the East Midlands region, and funding from RS’ sponsorship ensured children from disadvantaged backgrounds were able to take part.
Teams worked over a period of 12-16 weeks to explore a given topic and to design, build and program an autonomous LEGO robot to solve a series of missions. This year’s theme was CITYSHAPER, and teams had the task of building a robot using a LEGO MINDSTORMS kit. RS provided more than 50 of its STEM Ambassadors to support the event with refereeing, judging and timekeeping. The winner from the first day was Newport Pagnell’s Ousedale School, who will, together with day two winners Stamford School in Lincolnshire, go on to compete in the UK finals in Bristol in February, with the UK finalists then going to the world finals in the USA.
RS Head of Education Strategy James Howarth explained: “FIRST LEGO League is a fun and educational way to engage children with STEM – something which we are passionate about supporting. Many of the schools taking part were nominated by RS employees, and RS’ headline sponsorship and hosting of this tournament is a core component of our STEM programme, and our ambition to inspire the next generation of engineers.
“The teams were enthused and worked hard to identify problems based on the theme, design an innovative solution to the problem and share the problems and solution with others. The competition was tough, but we congratulate the winning teams for their successful entries, and wish them luck in standing for the East Midlands region in the UK finals,” he added.
FIRST LEGO League UK and Ireland is run by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, with the aim of inspiring the engineers and technologists of tomorrow, helping to secure the pipeline of engineers crucial to the future of the profession and its contribution to the global economy and society. Further information about the challenge can be found here. For more information on how RS supports STEM, visit the RS STEM hub, which provides a range of resources, products and initiatives that help to bring STEM subjects to life in the classroom and at home.