Press release

Budding young engineers to compete at UK and Ireland engineering challenge final

22 February 2017

48 teams of budding young engineers from across the UK and Ireland will battle it out to be crowned champions of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) FIRST® LEGO® League UK and Ireland final on Sunday 26 February at UWE Bristol.

The science and technology challenge, which is aimed at 9-16 year olds, tasks teams to build a robot to tackle a series of missions, each representing a different aspect of animal-human interaction.

The event will be the largest ever FIRST® LEGO® League UK and Ireland final with nearly 500 young people attending who will all be keen to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication.

Hosted by CBBC presenter Fran Scott, each team will be tasked with identifying a problem with the way we interact with animals, designing an innovative solution to the problem they selected and sharing their problem and solution with others.

IET President Jeremy Watson CBE said: “FIRST® LEGO® League is not just a robotics competition, it is a unique educational opportunity for young people to pursue their ideas and collaborate with businesses and organisations from the world outside school as they develop innovative solutions to problems they have identified in real world issues.

“IET initiatives like this show young people how creative, exciting and rewarding careers in engineering can be. In order to tackle the engineering skills gap we need more graduates and apprentices to enter the profession, and this can only happen if more school-age children – girls as well as boys – are attracted to, and choose to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects – competitions like FIRST® LEGO® League are therefore vital.”

Local MPs Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West) and Ben Howlett (Bath) and the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Paul Crossley are expected to attend the event.

The IET is FIRST® LEGO® League’s UK and Ireland operational partner. Supporting the competition is part of the IET’s commitment to show young people the benefits of careers within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The final can be watched live online, on YouTube, or on Facebook.

Notes to editors:

FIRST® LEGO® League helps young competitors to develop skills in design and technology, programming and control, mathematics, research, strategic thinking and teamwork. For more information visit: www.firstlegoleague.co.uk.