Working together in outreach programmes

For the first time, partners from industry and the armed services joined the judging panels at our FIRST LEGO League tournament hosted on January 8 2015 here at the University. Representatives from National Instruments, Network Rail, Mackwell, the Defence Training Undergraduate Scheme, Bournville College and IBM took part in this West Midlands regional tournament which is part of an international Engineering challenge run in the UK and Ireland by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). This year, the theme for the competition was entitled World Class, and the challenges were all about how to help people learn. 14 teams competed in the tournament for awards in teamwork, research and presentations, design strategies and robot performance. 6 trophies kindly sponsored by National Instruments were awarded during the day and the overall champions were Cedar Engineering Club, from Cedar’s Upper School in Leighton Buzzard.

Encouraging school children to become Engineers and Scientists in the future, and showing them pathways to become those people, are important to our profession and industries. It can be difficult for teachers, parents and children to see the routes to such careers, the places and organisations they can study and work in the variety of careers available. Working together we can strengthen our impact in addressing these issues.

Representatives were able to bring along banners and literature so that teachers and school children could see examples of where careers in science and engineering subjects could take them.

We envisage a growing participation by our industrial partners; working together we can share the commitment and resources as well as widening and deepening our impact.

Feedback from the event has been very positive with all of our partners from this year saying that they’d like to come back again and judge next year when the theme will be Trash trek challenge and will focus on the collection, sorting, re-use and avoidance of waste, see more at: www.firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2015trashtrek.

Please do get in touch if you would like to be part of this exciting and growing international competition which is organised by Carolyn Toney and Tim Jackson as part of the School’s Outreach programmes.