Whirlpool UK announces return of Peterborough tech tournament


The inaugural FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge was a success in Peterborough in January (Photo: jmm PR)

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge tournament is a global science and technology tournament for nine to 16 year olds and will be coming back for its second event in Peterborough on May 7 next year.

Funded by Whirlpool UK, parent company to Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid, the Peterborough tournament will see 15 local teams compete for the chance to progress to the national final in July 2021. Five of these teams will be fresh to the challenge, with 10 from primary schools who took part last year.

Due to the pandemic, the tournament will be held virtually; hosts and the IET are in the process of innovating the contest to ensure it's as engaging and fun as the usual event format.

The theme of this year's FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge is RePLAY; based around the importance of play and being more active. Students are challenged to develop a number of key technology and life-based skills through the four components of the challenge: the Robot Game, Robot Design, Core Values and the Innovation Project. These LEGO® challenges put teamwork and creativity to the test.

Ian Moverley, public affairs director at Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd, said: "We have employed thousands of local people over many decades at our UK headquarters in Woodston, Peterborough and we’re really excited to engage more with our community through the funding of our FIRST® LEGO® League tournament in Peterborough for the second year running.

"We are committed to building on the strengths of last year’s event to create another successful and fulfilling day for all involved and, although this year’s competition is set to look slightly different than before, we will ensure that those taking part still have the same engaging experience – from goody bags to virtual tours, we’ve got lots of ideas to make this tournament extra special!"

Lowri Walton, IET education manager at FIRST® LEGO® League, added: "It’s fantastic that Whirlpool UK is supporting FIRST® LEGO® League for the second year in a row, welcoming even more teams than before. Regardless of the circumstances of this year’s tournaments, we’re dedicated to making FIRST® LEGO® League bigger and better than ever, ensuring that everyone can take part safely and are working hard to ensure that we can engage more children with STEM and the vital life skills that they can learn when working on projects such as this."

Sponsored places are still available for the Whirlpool UK Peterborough tournament. Teams can be school groups, Scout groups or simply a team of friends, but two adult coaches are required for each team. To take part, contact jmm PR who will pass it onto Whirlpool UK.