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3 January, 2019 - 10:37 By Kate Sweeney

Science luminaries and Cambridge tech giants back LEGO venture

Maths education guru Bobby Seagull and volunteers from Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., Marshall, Arm and Cambridge Science Centre are among supporters of the FIRST® LEGO® League Cambridge regional tournament.

The Cambridge heat of the global science and technology challenge will take place at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering on Tuesday 15 January. 
Schools and education groups from across East Anglia will bring teams of up to 10 children to compete in four challenges across the day.

Almost 200 students, aged nine to 16, will participate in the Cambridge tournament,  which will be overseen by local University Challenge superstar turned national STEM champion, Bobby Seagull –  the event’s MC.

He will commentate the Robot Games as the students compete with their home-made robots, programmed to complete missions on a LEGO® playing field. The day will end with him presenting the winning teams with their award and announcing the successful team that will proceed to the national final in February.

A team of over 60 volunteers from Cambridge’s world-leading STEM industry will be on hand during the challenge. The volunteers will offer students advice and guidance throughout the tournament, mentoring teams as they prep and tweak their challenge robot in the pit area before competing in the Robot Game.

Seagull, said: “Events and opportunities like the FIRST® LEGO® League are invaluable when it comes to engaging the next generation of STEM professionals. By competing, students get to experience first-hand the real-world applications of disciplines like engineering, robotics, coding, maths and science, all of which will open countless doors for them in their future careers. I can’t wait to see the skills and doubtless enthusiasm on show at the Cambridge tournament!”

FIRST® LEGO® League, one of four programs offered by FIRST, is an annual international competition which sees over 250,000 young people (in 32,000 teams) from across 88 countries, come together to develop their STEM skills.

Winners of the Cambridge regional tournament will be given the opportunity to progress to the UK and Ireland final in February and then onto one of three international events, including the World Festival in Detroit, Michigan, April 24-27.

The operational partner of the FIRST® LEGO® League in the UK and Ireland is The Institution of Engineering and Technology and the competition is also supported globally by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiaries, with sponsorship that helps to fund participation.

During the Cambridge tournament, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.’s local team (based in Cambridge) lends its engineering expertise to mentor the teams of young people.

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