Bath students crowned FIRST LEGO League UK champions

1 February 2013
IET Communications team
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Students from Bath celebrate their FLL win

Bath's 'Untitled 1' FIRST LEGO League team celebrates its win at the competition's UK national final.

IET-run competition encourages young people into STEM.

Students from King Edward’s School and Ralph Allen School in Bath have won a place at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Festival in St. Louis, USA after being named UK champions last Saturday.

The IET's Education 5-19 team has been running the FIRST LEGO League competition in the UK since 2012. After a number of regional heats across the country, this year's competition came to an exciting end at a national final at Loughborough University on 26 January.

The winning team - called ‘Untitled 1’ - included three boys and four girls aged 11-15 from two schools in Bath. Their trophy and medals were presented by the IET's 2012 Young Woman Engineer of the Year, Yewande Akinola.

Seventeen-year-old Sam Mason is a King Edward’s sixth-former and the team’s coach. He said: “The whole team are very excited about going to the USA, and have been looking up St. Louis and all the information that is available about the World Festival.

“I gained such a lot from competing in the FLL competition [in previous years] – presentation skills, team work, problem solving and self-esteem. Competing in the FLL gave me confidence, made me a better communicator, team player and has helped me not to be afraid to try new things.

“I have since seen my two brothers similarly benefit from the FLL experience. I am now too old to compete in the FLL but wanted to give something back.”

Ahmed Kotb, IET education manager for FLL, said: “The final was an incredible event showing some unbelievable talent in students as young as nine. The judges had a hard time trying to decide between such innovative projects, but Untitled 1 really excelled in each of the judging areas.”

This year’s theme, entitled ‘Senior Solutions’, tasked each team with designing an innovative product to make life easier for elderly people. All teams also had to build a robot to complete a number of tasks in a live competition.

Untitled 1’s award-winning senior solution was a fingerprint-recognition doorbell that was able to inform elderly people through a screen display who was at the door. The team decided upon this idea following extensive research among elderly people and organisations like Age UK.

Although they missed the opportunity to go to St. Louis, the runners up from Simon Langton Boys Grammar School, Canterbury will be travelling to Germany for the Open European Championships in May. Nine other awards were presented that recognised creativity, core values and design.

For more information on FIRST LEGO League UK, please visit www.firstlegoleague.co.uk.