For the third consecutive year, Gatwick Airport hosted the Sussex and Surrey FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) regional tournament, which saw teams of students from eight schools in the region compete to build LEGO® robots.
FIRST® LEGO® League is an international robotics-based competition, which the airport has partnered, to excite young people aged 9 to 16 years about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
FLL is a collaboration between FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology) and LEGO®.
It started in the USA in 1998 with 210 teams and has now grown to a global competition with 30,000 teams involving more than half a million young people.
The event, which took place in the Sofitel Hotel, North Terminal, was attended by 10 students from each school.
The roboteers had up to 10 weeks before the tournament to build and program their robots around this year’s ‘Animal Allies’ theme before putting them through their paces to complete a set of missions on the thematic play surface.
The teams were judged on their ability to build and program the robot, their research, teamwork and presentation skills.
The judging panel, which included members of Gatwick staff, chose Reigate St Mary’s Prep and Choir School as the overall winners, who will now go through to the FLL International Open Championship in Bath, the first time an international final has been held in the UK. The winners of the National Finals will then represent the UK and Ireland at either the European Open Championships or the FLL World Festival.