Press release

Local robotics winners attend technology reception at No. 10

11 June 2014

The Canterbury trio who won a global technology competition run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology will today attend an entrepreneur and technology reception at Downing Street, hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Team Invicta – made up of Oli English (15), Emma English (15) and Carlos Purchase-Galarza (14) – won the national final of the UK First Lego League competition and went on to be named World Champions at the World Lego Festival in America in April. The aim of the competition is to introduce young people to the excitement of science, technology and engineering.

The team has now been invited to a special reception on 11 June, celebrating the success of the UK’s Entrepreneurial and Technology Communities at 10 Downing Street. Team Invicta will be there to represent the future of technology and engineering talent in the UK.

Nigel Fine, Chief Executive, IET, explains: “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 final of the global competition after designing innovative wristbands that use radio waves to track civilians buried under earthquake rubble.

The trio won a place at the World Festival after winning the FLL UK National Final, organised by the IET. They went on to beat off competition from 80 teams, representing 32 countries, at the World Festival in St. Louis, USA on Saturday, 26 April.

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!”

Media enquiries to:

Katie Stanton
Communications Executive

Tel: +44(0)1438 765608
Mob: +44(0)7738 713867
Email: kstanton@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • This year’s FLL competition – entitled ‘Nature’s Fury’ – challenged teams made up of nine to 16-year-olds to find a solution to tackle the effects of natural disasters. Each team was also tasked with designing and programming a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot. The robot had to then solve a range of problems and tasks. Teams were judged on their ability to build and programme the robot, their presentation and research skills and how well they cooperated with each other and their competitors.
  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest organisations for engineers and technicians.  We have nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries around the world.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world. We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community, supporting technology innovation to meet the needs of society.
  • The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence® and thought leadership.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
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