LEGO robots inspire engineers of the future

Engineers of the future descended upon the University to compete in the regional heats of a world-wide research and engineering competition for 9-to-16-year-olds.

More than 150 school children from 16 schools across the West Midlands brought specially-built LEGO robots onto campus for the FIRST LEGO League competition, an event designed to promote STEM subjects in schools, combat the decline in uptake of engineering subjects at higher education level, and encourage children to aspire to careers in engineering.

During the competition, teams competed to solve a set of challenges using a LEGO robot that they designed, built and programmed themselves. The teams also each presented a themed research project, with this year’s theme being ‘Animal Allies’. Teams were scored on their team working skills, research presentations and of course the design and performance of their robots.

View a video of the event

The overall winners of the day, RBS Robos from Robert Bakewell School in Leicestershire, will now compete in the UK finals in February 2017, the winners of which will go on to represent the UK at a World Festival held in the USA in April.

Dr Tim Jackson, from the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham, said of the event:

‘The FIRST LEGO league is a fantastic opportunity to get the engineers of the future engaged in the subject from an early age. By allowing participants to develop new skills and design simple solutions to real-world problems, the competition enables them to get a real sense of what a career in engineering can offer.’