Schools across the country are invited to take their students on a journey of exploration.

Register your interest in taking part in 2021

Student teams can apply to be part of an exciting robotics challenge that sees them involved in special missions. Teamwork, robots, design, discovery, fun and loads of LEGO are all part of the mix, as are real-world challenges, teacher support and some great prizes.


The lowdown

This isn’t a one-off challenge. It’s a curriculum-linked programme that sees students (11 to 14s) working together in teams to solve real-world engineering, technology and computing challenges.

Student teams across the country learn how to build, program and control autonomous LEGO robots to complete a series of short, exciting missions using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 sets. From speed racing to humanitarian aid, they’ll demonstrate their skills through a digital portfolio celebrated at digital events held around the country.

The journey starts in school. The challenge events are the culmination of a ten-week extra-curricular or in-school programme where students learn how to design and control their robots to complete the challenges. It’s all with the help of our structured activity plans and learning software, and we’ll also provide you with training and equipment.

Activities can be run with your team outside the classroom or during lessons. The challenge could take your team all the way from regional heats to the UK final!


The learning

Your team will research, design, plan, implement and present their own solution to a contemporary engineering problem gaining feedback on their work from the engineering community. The challenge will open up potential new careers to your students and help put their school learning into context.


Register your interest in taking part in 2021

What does the challenge consist of?

There are five parts to the Robotics Challenge.

The challenges will take place at challenge events, which are the culmination of a ten-week extra-curricular or in-school programme that will see your students learning how to design and control their robots in order to complete the environmental challenges, as well as developing their research project. This is all with the help of our structured activity plans and learning software, as well as equipment and full training. 

Digital Challenge events take place at a regional level, followed by the UK event where there are prizes on offer. 

1) Speed Challenge

Get your LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 moving as quickly as possible over 400cms

2) Robot Challenge

The Robot Challenge consists of a series of missions. Teams try to complete as many as possible under time pressure using the unique robots that they’ve built.

3) Robot Design

This can be compared to a real-world engineering design review. After completing the speed challenge and missions, students present the software and physical designs they’ve created for the challenge to judges.

4) Research Project

Students research, design and present their own solution to a contemporary engineering problem faced by STEM professionals.

5) Teamwork Challenge

Set on competition day so every team is at the same level.

There are a series of planned lessons and activities to show your students how to use the hardware and software, and how to prepare for the competition element. 

Teachers will get a full introduction to the challenge, as well as LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 hardware and software, at training days which will take place digital training days which will take place in January 2021

What's in it for students and schools?

• Hands-on, practical demonstrations of how to run the Robotics Challenge in your school

• A practical overview of the kit - the hardware and software

• How to prepare for competitions

• Key dates in the programme, supporting materials and helpful contacts

• The training day also gives you the chance to meet other teachers and share ideas!

Who can apply?

• Teachers or authorised school employees on behalf of girls and boys in key stage 3 (11 to 14 years old). 

• The challenge is open to schools from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

• Applicants do not need to have an established "team" in order to apply - these can be created post-application.

What kit do schools get?

All teams receive LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 resources, including:  

Hardware that allows pupils to build, program and test their solutions based on real-life robotics technology, controlled via Bluetooth and wi-fi.

• The Robot Educator, learning software with step-by-step tutorials and curriculum-based activities.

• Mission plans 

• Associated Robotics Challenge resources.

For more information about EV3 please visit the LEGO education website.


The support

Teacher training day underpinned by a LEGO® Education Academy Certified Trainer, followed by online support and tutorials, with input from STEM Ambassadors and volunteers.

The training days will be held online.

Frequently asked questions

Does the school have to pay to take part in the Robotics Challenge?

No, there is no participation fee and all the training and kit are provided free of charge.

Can we apply from anywhere in the UK?

Yes, we accept applications from secondary schools in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Can primary schools apply?

No, the Robotics Challenge is for secondary schools only.


When will we be told if our application has been chosen?

The selected applicant schools will be notified by email before the end of November by the Robotics Challenge team at EngineeringUK or one of our delivery partners


Will you publicise the schools that are selected?

Yes and we’d love you to as well.

What are we required to do if we’re selected to take part in the programme?

These things are required:

  • attendance by at least one facilitator at online facilitator training day in January 2021
  • delivering of the programme materials to the intended audience (aged 11 to 14’s)
  • allowing industry volunteers to support the programme where suitable
  • providing data on the students participating
  • giving feedback on the programme and its impact
  • using of the challenge to develop evidence portfolio
  • attending at short digital celebration event
  • potentially attending the UK final celebration event.


What is included in the school programme resources for the selected schools?

Sets of LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set, chargers, accompanying software, aviation challenge resources, teacher training in using the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3, reasonable after-training support and Tomorrow’s Engineers resources.

What qualifications will the teachers need?

No specific qualifications are required.

Can we use the resources for other age groups?

The school programme resources are aimed at students aged 11 to 14, but all age groups can benefit from your school taking part in the Robotics Challenge.

Who should we contact if we have more queries about the Robotics Challenge?

Please email and the team will aim to reply as soon as possible.

Register for 2021

Register here


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