Peterborough based Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, parent company to KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Hotpoint and Indesit, is launching a new FIRST® LEGO® League tournament for schools in the local area. Taking place at the Whirlpool offices on Saturday 18th January 2020, the tournament will see 10 teams of up to 10 students each compete in a series of project-based, robotics and teamwork-led challenges.
FIRST® LEGO® League is a global science and technology challenge for 9-16 year olds, which sees over 310,000 young people (in 38,800 teams), from across 100 countries, come together to develop their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills.
Whirlpool is hosting its very own FIRST® LEGO® League tournament and is funding 10 teams from local primary and secondary schools to participate. Sponsorship includes all entry fees and a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot provided to the schools. Registered teams so far include Longthorpe Primary School, West Town Primary Academy, Newark Hill Academy and Sawtry Junior School.
Designed to encourage young people to take an interest in real world issues and develop technology skills, FIRST® LEGO® League helps students to engage in their education and also nurtures important teamwork, problem-solving and life skills. The challenge is split into three key parts: the Robot Game, Core Values and the Innovation Project.
In preparation for the Robot Game, teams of young people will build and programme a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot to autonomously complete a series of challenges and score points on a themed playing field.
This year’s theme, CITY SHAPER, is based around architecture and the spaces that we live in and, for the Innovation Project, teams are invited to explore issues such as transportation, accessibility and natural disasters, questioning ‘How can we shape a better future for everyone?’ and presenting a solution to the problem.
Throughout the entire FIRST® LEGO® League programme, teams will operate under, and be asked to demonstrate, the FIRST® signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.
Ian Moverley, Public Affairs Director, Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd, comments, “The FIRST® LEGO® League plays an extremely important role in introducing school children to STEM and helping them to develop the skills they will need for future careers. We’ve previously followed the tournament and were always keen to get involved. It’s great that now through our sponsorship, we can enable a wide variety of schools to get stuck in and begin their FIRST® LEGO® League journey! I’m looking forward to welcoming the teams to our tournament in January and seeing how their skills develop over the coming months.”
The FIRST® LEGO® League is one of four programmes offered by FIRST®. Winners of the Whirlpool tournament will be given the opportunity to progress to the UK final in February and then on to the World Festival in Detroit, Michigan, from 29th April to 2nd May 2020.
The operational partner of the FIRST® LEGO® League in the UK and Ireland is the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Lowri Walton, IET Education Manager – FIRST® LEGO® League, comments: “We are enormously pleased to expand the IET FIRST® LEGO® League in the UK with the addition of the Whirlpool tournament in Peterborough. The FIRST® LEGO® League gives students the valuable opportunity to work in teams and develop crucial abilities, such as problem solving, communication and confidence. This year’s CITY SHAPER challenge asks young people to be inquisitive and come up with innovative solutions to problems that are faced by architects on a daily basis. Every year we are impressed with what we see – I’m excited to see how this year pans out!”
There are still six sponsored places available for the Whirlpool Peterborough tournament. Teams can be school groups, scout groups, or simply a team of friends, but each team will need at least two adult coaches. They can be made of up to 10 individuals, aged 9 to 16 years. If you would like the opportunity to take part, please get in touch with Joanna Colley at Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org.