Posted on the 8th February 2020
Written by Patrice

Elated teams progress at South East mega regional

Largest regional competition drives inclusion among teenagers in an area with great socio-economic divide, powered by Arm and Qualcomm Incorporated

10 February 2020: Robots built by students in the South East of England competed yesterday at FIRST® Tech Challenge UK’s regional tournament at the IWM Duxford in Cambridge. 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:

  • Judges ‘Enthusiastic Newcomer’ Award Winner: UK-001, S.P.A.R.K.S., Soham Village College
  • Judges ‘Interesting Newcomer’ Award Winner: UK-146, St Paul’s Botix, St Paul’s RC school
  • Motivate Award Winner: UK-076, – AD Victoriam, Sawtry Village Academy
  • Design Award Winner: UK-184, Team Pegasus, The American School London
  • Collins Aerospace Innovate Award Winner: UK-004, Chiswick Cyborgs, Chiswick School
  • Connect Award Winner: UK-015, St. Chris Snowflakes, St. Christopher School
  • Arm Control Award Winner: UK-148, Frites, Lycees International de Valbonne
  • Think Award Winner: UK-045, Combat Vehicle Crew, Comberton Village College
  • Finalist Alliance: UK-004, Chiswick Cyborgs, Chiswick School, UK-003, Binary Bots, Binary Bots, UK-182, Chiswick Cyborgs 2.0, Chiswick School
  • Winning Alliance: UK-148, Frites, Lycee International de Valbonne, UK-100, BaguetTechs, Lycee International de Valbonne, UK-002, Scorpions, Wrenn School
  • Inspire Award Winner: UK-003, Binary Bots (Independent team)

The list of teams that secured a spot in the national championship include:

  • UK-001, S.P.A.R.K.S., Soham Village College
  • UK-002, Scorpions, Wrenn School
  • UK-003, Binary Bots, Binary Bots
  • UK-004, Chiswick Cyborgs, Chiswick School
  • UK-015, St Christopher School, St Christopher School
  • UK-020, Eton College, Eton College
  • UK-024, Galactic STEMpire, Lakenheath High School
  • UK-045, Combat Vehicle Crew, Comberton Village College
  • UK-054, 4am Noodles, Cambridge Academy for Science & Technology
  • UK-059, Futuristic, Greig City Academy
  • UK-076, AD Victoriam, Sawtry Village Academy
  • UK-081, Pimlico Academy, Pimlico Academy
  • UK-097, Lilian Baylis Technology School, Lilian Baylis Technology School
  • UK-100, BaguetTechs, Lycee International de Valbonne
  • UK-101, The Frenchineers, Lycee International de Valbonne
  • UK-102, Fulham College Boys School, Fulham College Boys School
  • UK-103, Combot X, The Compton School
  • UK-116, System Override, St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls
  • UK-119, The Robonugget Gang, Leytonstone School
  • UK-132, I.C.E., Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology
  • UK-133, Lancer Alliance, Lakenheath High School
  • UK-143, GPUTC, Greater Peterborough UTC
  • UK-146, St. Paul’s Botix, St. Paul’s RC School
  • UK-147, ENGINOVA, St. Bonaventures Catholic Comprehensive School
  • UK-148, Frites, Lycee International de Valbonne
  • UK-149, Petchey Robotic, The Petchey Academy
  • UK-167, Undefined, Greig City Academy
  • UK-168, Pimlico Academy, Pimlico Academy
  • UK-170, ART Alconbury, Middle High School
  • UK-174, Red Fox, Studios Chesterton Community College
  • UK-179, Sabotage, St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls
  • UK-181, ACR Computing, Abbey College
  • UK-182, Chiswick Cyborgs 2.0, Chiswick School
  • UK-183, Nuts + Bolts, Trumpington Community College
  • UK-184, Pegasus, American School in London

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

“It’s inspiring to witness the progress young people from across the South East have made designing and building robots – operating like business teams, deploying game strategies. This is more than robots – it’s about connecting young people with role models from industry and bridging the gap between the classroom and the workplace of tomorrow.”

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.

FIRST UK 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 – the South East tournament is in collaboration with Arm and Qualcomm Incorporated. 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.

James Chapman, VP & GM, Voice/Music/Wearables at Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd, commented:

“Qualcomm is a proud supporter of the FIRST Tech Challenge. It is vital that the industry engages with, and enthuses, the next generation of engineering talent and the FIRST Tech Challenge is a powerful way to do that. I am incredibly impressed by the quality of entries and am encouraged to see so many young people enthused about STEM.”

Kirsty Gill, Chief People Officer at Arm, commented:

“It was refreshing to see these young people compete in the regional tournament in Cambridge. The level of engagement and the energy in the room left me in awe of how invested and passionate these students are about robotics. As I watched one of these robots career around the field I was sure these kids will be designing the autonomous vehicle I’ll be sitting in the future.”

. . .

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 national championship taking place 27-28 March 2020.

View the full events gallery.

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