Ready, set, LEGO: Kids compete for LEGO robot crown

Longthorpe Primary School won first place in this year’s annual IET FIRST LEGO League Challenge Whirlpool tournament

Last Friday, the third annual IET FIRST LEGO League Challenge Whirlpool tournament saw primary school students build and program a LEGO robot in a virtual STEM competition. 

Kids across Peterborough and Huntingdon were encouraged to take part to develop their programming, teamwork and creative abilities. As well as programming a robot to complete a series of missions on a LEGO playing field, teams were set various challenges such as developing an Innovation Project, which involved solving a problem linked to the transportation of goods. 

It’s a privilege for us to once again sponsor such a fun and significant event for our local schools. Not only does FIRST LEGO League enable children to get a taster of the world of engineering through robotics and programming, but they also develop important life skills, like creative thinking, teamwork and kindness – Ian Moverley, public affairs director at Whirlpool Corporation 

The virtual tournament brought the youngest STEM talents together to put their robots to the test in 2.5 minute Robot Game matches, during which their creations had to complete as many missions as possible. 

There was also the chance for teams to demonstrate the design and functionality of their robots to a panel of industry judges, as well as presenting their transport-themed projects. 

The overall winners of the tournament were Team Longthorpe Legends, who attend Longthorpe Primary School. The team are now set to progress to the national finals this February, battling against other winning teams from schools across the UK and Ireland. 

They also received the Core Values award, a recognition of the team’s commitment to the FIRST signature set of core values: discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun.

Other winners included: 

  • GS Wall-Es – Great Staughton Primary Academy, who scored the top number of points in the ‘Robot Game’. 
  • The Cheerios – Hampton Vale Primary Academy, who were commended in the Robot Design category for their innovative robot design and clearly thought-out mission strategy. 
  • The 8 Hyper Bits – Huntingdon Primary School, who received the Innovation Project award for their presentation exploring an above-ground, tunnel-based transport system. 

FIRST LEGO League is a global science and technology challenge which sees almost 680,000 young people across 110 countries come together each year to celebrate and develop their STEM skills.  

Whirlpool Corporation has funded its tournament in Peterborough since the 2019-2020 season, with sponsorship including the provision of LEGO SPIKE Prime robots to primary schools in the local area, as well as registration to the event.   

Ian Moverley, public affairs director at Whirlpool Corporation, said: “It’s been a challenging couple of years for all schools and I am enormously proud of all of the children for their continued enthusiasm. I would also like to say a big congratulations to all of the teachers who have supported the students throughout the competition – you are all fantastic. 

“Despite the event taking place virtually, we had a number of volunteers – from Whirlpool and other local organisations – step forward to support the running of the day and with judging the teams. Thanks to all of you for making this event possible.” 

Registration for the next IET FIRST LEGO League Challenge Whirlpool Peterborough tournament will re-open later this year. Please contact  to register your interest. 

You might also like: Build a robot: National drawing and story competitions for children now open

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