Posted on the 3rd February 2020
Written by Patrice

North West alliance wins by one point in nail-biting finish!

Wade Deacon High School, Cheadle Hulme High School and The Observatory School are crowned North West’s Winning Alliance after a knife-edged final robotics match, winning by 39 points to 38. The competition run by FIRST® Tech Challenge U is geared to connect young people with STEM in thriving science and innovation hotspot struggling with shortage in high skilled workers.

Robots built by students in the North West of England competed during the weekend at FIRST® Tech Challenge UK’s regional tournament at the De La Salle Academy in Liverpool. The winning teams will now progress to London’s Copper Box Arena in March where they will compete to represent the UK in the world championships in May, held in the USA, alongside 40,000 young people from 100 countries.


Award winners include:

  • UK-165, The Observatory School
  • Motivate Award Winner: UK-040, Team The High-Ground, Priestley College
  • Design Award Winner: UK-068, Team Calderdrones, Calderstones School
  • Collins Aerospace Innovate Award Winner: UK-089, Team The Rolling Drones, Queens Park High School
  • Connect Award Winner: UK-016, Team The Cranks, Cheadle Hulme High School
  • Finalist Alliance: UK-089, Team The Rolling Drones, Queens Park High School, Team UK-098, The Headless Addicts, Sandbach Squadron and UK-067, Team The Lost Boys, 2493 (Alsager) Squadron RAF Cadets
  • Winning Alliance: UK-070, Team Prometheus, Wade Deacon High School, UK-064, Team Red, Cheadle Hulme High School and UK-165, The Observatory School
  • Inspire Award Winner: UK-111, Team Event Horizon, Lord Derby Academy


Teams advancing to the championships:

  • UK-111, Event Horizon, Lord Derby
  • UK-070, Prometheus, Wade Deacon High School
  • UK-068, Calderdrones, Calderstones School
  • UK-064, Red, Cheadle Hulme High School
  • UK-165, The Observatory School
  • UK-089, The Rolling Drones, Queens Park High School
  • UK-016, The Cranks, Cheadle Hulme High School
  • UK-098, The Headless Addicts, 1873 Sandbach Squadron ATC
  • UK-067 The Lost Boys, 2493 (Alsager) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets
  • UK-040, The High-Ground, Priestley College


Ed Cervantes-Watson, CEO at FIRST UK, said:

“We’re immensely proud of all teams who competed at our North West regional and Lord Derby Academy’s Inspire Award triumph was well deserved. The quality of robotics, creativity and collaboration is what we’d expect to see at industry level; these teams have demonstrated what it takes to excel in technology and engineering and we can’t wait to see how they develop further at the national championship in March. We need to provide more opportunities for young people to build confidence and skills to take the jobs that don’t exist yet and we’re thankful for the industry partners and volunteers who’ve invested their time to inspire young people.”


FIRST UK is more than a tech education charity. While the programme aims to make STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) less intimidating and more inclusive, it is also connecting young people with industry, providing new role models and teaching vital skills. Through the programme young people work on their soft skills – such as problem solving, working and collaborating with others, and building confidence and resilience.


Meeting weekly from September until March, teams of up to 15 young people aged 12 to 18 design, build and programme a robot to take on a global challenge with support from an industry mentor. FIRST UK has worked alongside industry to co-create content linked to the curriculum that gets young people thinking and operating like a business team, adopting roles found in the workplace.


FIRSTUK is backed by businesses keen to bridge the gap between education and industry, building an inclusive talent pipeline equipped with the skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs. It is estimated that the shortage of STEM skills in the UK is costing businesses £1.5 billion a year as they struggle to hire, train and retain talent. Research from 2018 shows that there’s a shortfall of over 173,000 workers in STEM in the UK.

. . .

You can follow all competition activity live with the hashtag #MoreThanRobotsUK on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re up for volunteering like some of our epic Game Changers, sign up to our York regional taking place on 11 Feb 2020.

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    We use robots, role models and competitions to make STEM more approachable and inclusive, empowering young people to make informed choices about their future.