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Queen Mary hosts Lego engineering challenge for local school students

On 25 January, Queen Mary University of London opened their doors to local schoolchildren for the 2020 FIRST® LEGO® League tournament.

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Students testing their robots at the event. Credit: Ray Crundwell Photography
Students testing their robots at the event. Credit: Ray Crundwell Photography

The event, hosted by the School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, saw 18 teams from in and around London compete, putting their designed robots through their paces, and sharing what they had learnt with judges.

The home educated ‘Lego Loving Londoners’ team were crowned champions at the event, closely followed by runners up from Dunottar School.

For the last five years Queen Mary has been an active supporter of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) FIRST® LEGO® League, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Inspiring the next generation

The FIRST® LEGO® League is a global STEM challenge for teams of 9-16 year olds. It aims to engage students in science and engineering, and help them to develop key skills for their future careers.

The tournaments are the culmination of weeks of preparation, where students have worked in teams to design, build and programme a robot, and create an innovative solution to a real-world problem.

Ho Huen, Electronics Lab Manager and FIRST® LEGO® League organiser at Queen Mary, said: “As a University we strive to bring out the best in students. The fundamental skills required for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career are nurtured at an early stage. By hosting events like this, we can inspire students at a young age and introduce them to professionals in the field of Science and Engineering.

“The success of the event is down to the hard work of many lecturers, staff, and students from the School, so I’d like to thank all involved for their continued support. As an engineer myself, it’s personally rewarding to see young students so engaged and enthused about engineering activities.”

Hands-on experience with robotics                                

Over 70 IET FIRST® LEGO® League tournaments are taking place across the UK and Ireland. The London-East regional held at Queen Mary is one of four tournaments in London, and the only one held at a London university. 

Lowri Walton, FIRST® LEGO® League IET Education Manager, said: “Teams who take part in FIRST® LEGO® League this year will experience engineering in action. The programme makes STEM subjects fun and accessible as the young people get hands-on experience with robotics and designing innovative solutions. The teams develop computer programming, teamwork, problem-solving and communications skills in an incredibly exciting environment.

“It’s a fact that the need for engineers has never been greater. The IET supports FIRST® LEGO® League because it equips young people with the skills that they need to become future innovators and engineers. FIRST® LEGO® League is the world’s largest STEM competition with 40,000 teams in more than 100 countries and the IET is proud to be the operational partners for the programme in the UK and Ireland.”

FIRST® LEGO® League is part of a wider IET education programme, made up of a whole host of teaching resources and activities to inspire and attract the engineers of tomorrow.

More information

For media information, contact:

Sophie McLachlan
Faculty Communications Manager (Science and Engineering)
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