Students Master Robots To Win Prestigious UK Competition

Mar 19, 2019

Torquay Academy


The winners of the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge have been crowned at The Big Bang Fair 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham. The winning team from Torquay Academy, Devon competed against hundreds of other students across the country to vie for the top prize.

The school’s team made up of students: Oliver Phillips, Robin Pightling, Angus Graham, Ollie Hill, Will Harrison, James Scrimgeor, Azize Isufi, Emily Mahoney-Billis, Antonia Standen, and Kacy Fairhurst. They learnt how to build, program and control autonomous LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots to complete a series of short, exciting aviation themed missions including a speed challenge, where they program the robot to go as fast as possible.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge introduces student teams to real-world engineering, technology, robotics and computing challenges. The challenge aims to help students put their school learning into context and discover exciting new careers. Each of the teams taking part received free LEGO® robots Education EV3 STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) resources. The winning students competed against 49 groups of students and from 30 regional heats. from across the country. Students also researched, designed and presented their own solution to the question: how can engineers support humanitarian aid in the future? as part of the teamwork challenge.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge is led by EngineeringUK and Helsington Foundation in partnership with the Royal Air Force and supported by Rolls-Royce and the Reece Foundation.

Congratulating the winning team EngineeringUK’s Director of Tomorrow’s Engineers, Melanie Washington, said: “We need to inspire more young people to consider a career in engineering if the UK is to meet its future demand for engineers.

"The Robotics Challenge gives young people of all backgrounds a chance to experience the variety, excitement and opportunity presented by a career in engineering.

"Huge congratulations to Torquay Academy for winning the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge."

Head of Helsington UK, Derek Walters said: “Through the stewardship of EngineeringUK, we have seen a huge increase in a short period of time of the number of schools taking part in the Tomorrow's Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge – from just 25 four years ago to 500 in this academic year.

"Our aim is to improve the performance of students’ in Maths, Physics and IT, subjects that are key to a career in Engineering. The success of the Programme is due to the professionalism, support and enthusiasm of the teaching staff who are recognised with a new annual award, and who are integral in mentoring tomorrow’s engineers.”

There were special prizes for six teachers, who were recognised for their leadership and support for their students. The teachers: Simon Poulton (Goole Academy); Martin Macmillan (McLaren School); James Rhee (Nonsuch High School for Girls); Reece Broome (Torquay Academy); Kevin Davies (Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun) and Annie Beglin (St Crispin's School) win an exciting behind the scenes tour of the Department of Engineering at University of Cambridge with an opportunity to hear from leading engineers and £1,000 for their STEM club.

Teacher support is crucial throughout the whole of the Robotics Challenge, a year-round programme, including working with students to prepare for the regional heats which took place across the country in February and March. Finalists then demonstrated the skills they had learned at The Big Bang Fair, with the winner announced at an award ceremony on the penultimate day of The Fair.

For more information on the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge please visit


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