Science luminaries unite to support the IET FIRST LEGO League Cambridge tournament

Maths education extraordinaire, author and TV personality, Bobby Seagull, and volunteers from Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., Marshall, Arm and Cambridge Science Centre, among many others, have all signed up to support the FIRST LEGO League Cambridge regional tournament.

The Cambridge heat of the global science and technology challenge will take place at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering on Tuesday 15 January 2019. Schools and education groups from across East Anglia will bring teams of up to ten children to compete in four challenges across the day. Almost 200 students, aged 9 – 16, will participate in the Cambridge tournament, which will be overseen by local University Challenge superstar, turned national STEM champion, Bobby Seagull – the event’s chosen M.C.

As M.C., Bobby will welcome the 19 teams of students, and officially open the competition (alongside a surprise, out of this world, virtual guest appearance). During the competition heats, Bobby will commentate the Robot Games as the students compete with their home-made robots, programmed to complete missions on a LEGO playing field. The day will end with Bobby presenting the winning teams with their award and announcing the successful team that will proceed to the national final in February.

Alongside Bobby, a team of over 60 volunteers from Cambridge’s world-leading STEM industry will be on hand during the challenge. The volunteers will offer students advice and guidance throughout the tournament, mentoring teams as they prep and tweak their challenge robot in the pit area before competing in the Robot Game. The illustrious panel of judges will also be made up of volunteers donating their time and expertise to determine the winners for the Robot Design, the Project, and the Core Values elements of the tournament.

Bobby Seagull, said: “Events and opportunities like the FIRST LEGO League are invaluable when it comes to engaging the next generation of STEM professionals. By competing, students get to experience first-hand the real-world applications of disciplines like engineering, robotics, coding, maths and science, all of which will open countless doors for them in their future careers. I can’t wait to see the skills and doubtless enthusiasm on show at the Cambridge tournament!”.

Mandy Workman, IET Education Manager – FIRST LEGO League, comments: “This year is the 30th season of the FIRST LEGO League and every year, as more and more people get involved and offer their time and expertise, it benefits our young people no end. We are thrilled to have generated so much support from the world-leading STEM industry in Cambridge and to have Bobby on board as such a staunch education advocate”.

FIRST LEGO League, one of four programs offered by FIRST, is an annual international competition which sees over 250,000 young people (in 32,000 teams), from across 88 countries, come together to develop their STEM skills. Winners of the Cambridge regional tournament will be given the opportunity to progress to the UK and Ireland final in February, and then onto one of three international events, including the World Festival in Detroit, Michigan, April 24-27.

The operational partner of the FIRST LEGO League in the UK and Ireland is The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the competition is also supported globally by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiaries, with sponsorship that helps to fund participation. During the Cambridge tournament, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.’s local team (based in Cambridge) lends its engineering expertise to mentor the teams of young people.

Registration for the FIRST LEGO League 2018-19 season is now closed and will re-open for the 2019-20 season to teams of up to 10 individuals, aged nine to 16 years. Teams can be school groups, scout groups, or simply a team of friends, but will need at least two adult coaches.



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