Combat Wombats crowned First Lego League champions

A team of budding young engineers from Bath, Somerset, have been crowned champions of the IET’s First Lego League England and Wales Final.

The winning team – dubbed ‘Combat Wombats’ – was one of two teams from Freshford Church School in Bath that made it to the National Final. The Combat Wombats team was comprised of 10 boys and girls aged 9-10 years old.

The Wombats were crowned champions at the competition final, which was held in Harrogate on Saturday 26 February, and will now have the opportunity to represent England on the global stage at the First World Festival in Houston, US, in April.

The science and technology challenge, which is aimed at 9-16-year-olds, tasks teams to build a robot to tackle a series of missions and create an innovative solution to a real-world problem. This year’s competition was called ‘Cargo Connect’ and is designed to explore how cargo is transported to different destinations around the world.

Teams were tasked with designing a solution to making transporting cargo more efficient, while also hopefully having lots of fun in the process.

The team’s winning solution was an innovative idea of ​​a kerbside tunnel system that could be made from recycled materials that allowed automated delivery trucks to securely drop off parcels to reduce the environmental impact of the tricky ‘last mile’ in logistics.

Combat Wombats team member Hans said: “The day was amazing and we had such fun, we still can’t believe we have won the whole competition against so many teams.”

Clive Seager, Combat Wombats team coach, said: “The children have worked extremely hard on their project and Lego robot design in their weekly after-school club. I am very proud of the way this very young team performed at both the regional heats and the national final, showingcasing their skills among the many other strong teams taking part.”

The runners-up were another south-west primary school team: Cargonauts from Heywood Prep, Corsham.

Lucy Owen, IET First Lego League education manager, said: “First Lego League allows young people to experience engineering in action. As well as bringing excitement to STEM subjects, the students get hands-on experience with robotics and designing innovative solutions to real-world problems. Developing computer programming, teamwork, problem-solving and communications skills has never been so much fun and gives students an insight into the creative and innovative careers that engineering presents.

“There is a great need for young people with STEM skills to fill the next generation of engineering roles and I know first-hand that there are bright young engineering minds in First Lego League. I’d like to congratulate our winners and all the finalists.”

Returning as an in-person event for the first time in two years following the Covid-19 pandemic, the First Lego League England and Wales final saw over 500 young people and 510 spectators, team coaches and VIPs attending. All participants were keen to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication.

The IET is proud to be the First Lego League’s UK and Ireland operational partner. Supporting the competition is part of the IET’s commitment to show young people the benefits of careers within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Read more about this year’s First Lego League competition.

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