We wrapped up 2023 with a burst of innovation in December at the FIRST Tech Challenge UK scrimmages for what is becoming the most promising robotics season yet!
Scrimmages are informal meetups where teams get together during the programme’s mid-season to build, test out the game field and meet other teams, before competing at a regional Qualifying Tournament in March. But these are more than meetups, young people get a chance to learn from experienced peers, put their emerging skills into practice and interact with industry role models on hand to help and inspire.
Teams gathered across each region, turning Champion Org venues into a hive of creativity, collaboration and robots. This year boasts a record number of new teams taking part, of which many attended a Scrimmage with the beginnings of a robot and left with more confidence, more ambition and a robot navigating the game field – a huge accomplishment!
This CENTERSTAGE game pushes each young person’s strategic mind to tackle many engineering challenges at once – from the robot’s size, its ability to manoeuvre objects and obstacles with precision, its sturdiness, hanging strength and throwing power – that can easily distract those without a clear game plan. It was encouraging to see the level of focus displayed by teams as they worked with their strengths and analysed other team strategies to refine their own.
Champion Orgs rose to the challenge with creative problem-solving activities. Alconbury Middle High School’s demo robot at the East Scrimmage, a deliberate jack-of-all-trades prototype, prompted teams to scrutinise what their robot should perform well at on game day. Bournemouth School for Girls hosted a human-robot game demonstration and a paper drone-building competition as a live prototyping exercise.
Beyond robot gameplay, teams connected, sharing insights and solutions amongst themselves too, while many Team Leads compared notes and experiences. Champion Orgs, Hearts of Midlothian Innovation Centre in Edinburgh and St Margaret Ward Catholic College in Stoke-on-Trent, both invited special guests from industry to present and offer troubleshooting clinics on the day. We even received a surprise visit from a Boston Dynamics robot dog!
While we say our events are more than robots, we’re chuffed to see our small but mighty scrimmages becoming more than meetups that prize collaboration and hands-on learning.
A massive shoutout to all participating teams! Your hard work, passion, and sportsmanship will take you to new heights this season – keep going and see you at the Qualifying Tournaments!
Swipe to catch a glimpse of the action-packed moments from the scrimmages.
Want to know more about our events or how to volunteer? Find out more on our events page.