IET FIRST LEGO League champions meet UK Prime Minister

12 June 2014
IET Communications team
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Team Invicta, David Cameron and Nigel Fine

FIRST LEGO League World Champions Team Invicta with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and IET Chief Executive Nigel Fine.

Team Invicta tell David Cameron about their robotics win.

The Canterbury trio who won the IET’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition and went on to become FLL World Champions met UK Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday.

Team Invicta – made up of 15-year-olds Oli English and Emma English and 14-year-old Carlos Purchase-Galarza – won the national final of the latest round of FLL UK in February. In April, they were crowned World Champions at the FLL World Festival in the USA. The aim of the FLL competition is to introduce young people to the excitement of science, technology and engineering.

The team were invited to a special reception at 10 Downing Street on 11 June, celebrating the success of the UK’s entrepreneurial and technology communities. The team discussed the FLL competition with the Prime Minister and then had their photograph taken with him.

Prior to the reception, Team Invicta member Carlos said: “Going to see the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street will be very exciting, a real privilege and fun. Hopefully I will have the chance to explain to the Prime Minister just how much FLL has taught me, not only science, engineering and technology but also the importance of team work and sharing ideas from around the world.  

“It’s been a fantastic journey for team Invicta this year and I hope even more kids will get involved with FLL in the future.  It’s fun, you learn loads and get a chance to go to America and even meet the Prime Minister!”

Our Chief Executive, Nigel Fine, who was also in attendance, said: “Our mission is to inspire the next generation of engineers to fill the 87,000 engineering and technology vacancies predicted in this thriving sector each year over the next ten years. Competitions like the FIRST LEGO League play a vital role in encouraging more young people to study Maths and Physics – and pursue a career in engineering and technology.

“It’s well-deserved honour for the young winners of this year’s competition to go to No. 10. It also sends a strong message that Government values both its home grown engineering and technology talent – and initiatives to help develop young people’s skills and enthusiasm in this area.”

Team Invicta’s win means that a UK team has secured the top prize in the global competition for the second year running, proving that there is no shortage of raw engineering and technology talent in the UK.

The team impressed judges at the World Festival after designing innovative wristbands that use radio waves to track civilians buried under earthquake rubble.

They went on to beat off competition from 80 teams, representing 32 countries.


Inspiring the next generation

The IET is the operating partner of FLL in the UK, as part of the Institution’s aim to introduce young people to the excitement of science, technology and engineering. You can find out more about our education activities on our teacher resources page.

In 2013, the IET also provided over £1 million in awards, prizes and scholarships, to celebrate engineering excellence and inspire the next generation of engineers and technicians. For more detail, please visit the awards section of our website.