Press release

Global LEGO Engineering Challenge open to school pupils

01 September 2015

School pupils have the chance to be engineering champions in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) global Trash Trek competition.

The science and technology challenge, which is aimed at 9-16 year olds, tasks teams to solve real world problems with the help of a robot. This year’s challenge, which was announced across the world last week, requires young people to identify a real-world problem in the way that waste is dealt with, investigate it and come up with an innovative solution. They will also design, build and program an autonomous LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to tackle a series of waste-related missions.

Schools across the UK can register for regional heats now – they will then have twelve to sixteen weeks during the autumn term to work on the challenge before they compete in their chosen Regional Tournament. This year’s Trash Trek season is expected to be the largest ever with 37 Tournaments taking place across the country from the end of November to mid-January. Teams can include up to ten students with a supporting adult coach.

The winners of the regional tournaments will go on to the FLL UK and Ireland Final, due to take place in February 2016.

The Final’s top teams will then go on to represent the UK and Ireland at international FLL events, including the FIRST® LEGO® League World Festival in April 2016.

Gareth James, Head of Education 5-19 at the IET, said: “The IET runs competitions like FIRST® LEGO® League to show young people the merits of engineering and the excitement, creativity and importance behind it.

“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 are attracted to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects - competitions like FLL are therefore vital.”

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is FLL’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).

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 the FIRST® LEGO® League website.

Media enquiries to:
Rebecca Gillick
Communications Executive

Tel: +44 (0)1438 765 618
Mob: +44 (0)7725 498 129
Email: rgillick@theiet.org 

Notes to editors:

  • 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 engineering institutions with over 163,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.