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Students to build, program and control LEGO robots for new #Robotics Challenge focused on the environment #TEWeek19

New Robotics Challenge to focus on the environment

Over 550 schools are set to take part in this year’s Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge and have the chance to be crowned UK winners at the competition finals taking place at The Big Bang Fair in March 2020.

The students will build, program and control LEGO robots for a series of environmentally themed missions to discover what engineers can do to create a cleaner, more sustainable world.

As part of the Challenge, the student teams will build a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 robot and program it to complete a speed and control test and perform a set of environmentally themed tasks such as planting a tree. Students will also work as a team to present an idea of how engineers can help future-proof the world.

Dr Hilary Leevers, CEO of EngineeringUK, said:

“We’ve seen young people around the world coming together to demand action over climate change. The next generation can be part of the solution by choosing engineering careers that will be central to generating affordable and sustainable energy, and to solving other global challenges that they care about, like access to clean water and sanitation. We need creative thinkers with a range of skills and perspectives working together to secure our future.

“The new environmental challenge was chosen for the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge to address an issue that many of us are passionate about and inspire students as they discover exciting new skills and careers in engineering, technology, robotics and computing.”

Demand for engineering skills is high and will continue to rise in the future – EngineeringUK estimates that the UK needs tens of thousands more engineers annually.

Dr Leevers adds: “Communicating the breadth and variety of engineering careers to young people is vital for the future of the UK economy, if the engineering community is to keep inspiring the next generation of engineers.”

Now in its fifth year the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge encourages young people to put coding and team work skills to work. The Challenge aims to help students discover exciting new careers allowing schools to achieve some of their Gatsby benchmarks. As well as students, teachers also benefit from taking part in the Challenge and are well-supported through professional development training days and online mentoring.

Marc Fleming, Headteacher of McLaren High School in Callander, Scotland and reoccurring UK finalists, said:

“For those teachers who have attended Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge competitions, they have all stated that the process has improved wellbeing outcomes, through increased confidence, improved self-esteem and a greater enthusiasm for STEM subjects.

“If you are a school who is thinking of taking part for the first time, do not hesitate in taking up the challenge, your young people will love it.”


The Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge is a curriculum-linked programme where teams of students (aged 11-14) learn how to build, program and control autonomous LEGO robots over ten weeks to complete a series of environmentally themed missions using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 sets. Teams demonstrate the skills they’ve learned at challenge events held around the UK. Winners of the regional heats progress to the UK finals, hosted at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC in March.

By presenting real-world engineering, technology and computing challenges, the programme aims to open up potential new careers to students and help put their school learning into context. Students gain feedback on their work from professional engineers and scientists.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge is led by EngineeringUK and The Helsington Foundation in partnership with the RAF, Network Rail and supported by Rolls-Royce.

EngineeringUK is a not-for-profit organisation, which works in partnership with the engineering community to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and increase the number and diversity of young people choosing academic and vocational pathways into engineering. EngineeringUK leads engagement programmes The Big Bang and Tomorrow’s Engineers, creates inspiring engineering careers resources and produces a body of research including the flagship State of Engineering report.

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. Taking place from 11-14 March 2020 at The NEC in Birmingham, The Big Bang Fair is an award-winning combination of exciting theatre shows, interactive workshops and exhibits and careers information from STEM professionals. Having grown from 6,500 visitors in its first year (2009) to 80,000 in 2019, The Big Bang Fair is made possible through the collaborative efforts of over 100 organisations.

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