Posted on the 5th July 2024
Written by Vicki

UK Inspire Award winner Ultraviolet is going global!

Our teams are great at thinking outside of the box. They dream big and have the drive to make things happen. They want to show the world what the UK STEM scene has to offer and the time has come for our incredible teams to take to the global stage. We surprised our Inspire Award winners from the UK Championship with a spot at FIRST Global – a celebration of robotics education and inclusion from over 190 countries uniting in an effort to drive collaboration, inclusivity and learning. 


We want to provide young people with as many transformative opportunities as possible to expand their world of STEM and robotics. FIRST Global is an exciting festival of knowledge, learning, innovation and connection – with a bit of robot competition for fun – bringing together young people with a shared passion from all over the world. 


We’re so proud to be able to offer this opportunity to Ultraviolet, Bournemouth School for Girls’ robotics team. They blew our panel of judges away at the UK Champs and we know they’re destined for greatness. Ultraviolet is incredibly deserving of this opportunity and we know the whole FIRST Tech Challenge UK community is behind them. 


Our Inspire Award winners have truly embraced what it means to be “inspirational.” Patrice John-Baptiste, Head of Impact and Engagement at FIRST UK reflected, “I, once a girl obsessed with building things and making stuff work, but without the opportunity to turn curiosity into practice, am in awe of Ultraviolet.” 

Team Ultraviolet hadn’t even finished celebrating that they won the Inspire Award before learning about their spot at FIRST Global a little over a week later. If you thought their reaction to winning the Inspire Award was big, you haven’t seen anything yet. Left speechless, the team is now getting ready for the ‘Olympics of robotics’. It’s been a rollercoaster of a season but it’s not time to put away the control hub yet. 


This season, BBC Click decided to get the scoop on FIRST Tech Challenge UK and how our programme drives diversity and inclusion. As an all-girls team, Ultraviolet is featured on the programme, documenting their 2023-24 CENTERSTAGE journey. What a journey it’s been!

What’s FIRST Global?

FIRST Global is the Olympics of robotics – it’s the most international educational robotics competition connecting young people from all corners of the world to reflect on how their passion for STEM can drive positive change. It’s about collaboration, inclusivity and giving back to the communities we serve. After all, these young minds are soon to be responsible for the planet’s biggest challenges.


This September, teams from over 190 countries will travel to Athens, Greece to solve a global challenge using their robotics skills. Teams will compete in the ‘Feeding the Future’ game, which explores sustainable food production.


One of the 21st century’s biggest challenges, this year’s game pushes the STEM visionaries of the future to address the obstacles facing the world in providing equitable, safe, nutritious and environmentally responsible food.


Heading to Athens, Ultraviolet will not only be representing Great Britain but they’ll also be showing everyone the importance and value of girls in STEM. The event is set for 26-29 September – stay tuned! 

What’s next for Ultraviolet? 

The hard work doesn’t stop there. Team Ultraviolet will be busy beavering away over the summer making sure they’re ready for globals in late September. Already receiving full funding from generous FIRST Global sponsors to participate, they’ll be working on a whole new robot, refining their strategy for an entirely different game and fundraising to support their travels. Going to FIRST Global is no easy feat but we know Ultraviolet will smash it! 

David Sims, Headteacher at Bournemouth School for Girls celebrated, “We are thrilled and honoured that students from Bournemouth School for Girls have been selected as the team to represent Great Britain at FIRST Global in Athens. This incredible opportunity is a testament to the ambition, hard work and passion our students have demonstrated over the past two years in FIRST Tech Challenge UK. We are immensely proud of their achievements, and particularly, the fact they are the first all-girl team to represent GB in this international competition. We are excited to see them compete on a global stage, showcasing their talents and inspiring future generations of girls in STEM, as well as network with other young people from around the world.”

Our 15 minutes of fame on the Beeb!

FIRST Tech Challenge UK is coming to the BBC! From this Saturday 6 July to Thursday 11 June, tune into BBC Click to learn more about our programme and Ultraviolet’s recipe for success as Inspire Award winners. The ‘Robot Challenge’ episode will be first aired on Saturday at 7:30AM and 7:30PM, and broadcast across BBC News until Thursday. The show is available to watch on-demand.

Don’t miss out next year!

Make sure to register for the 2024-25 season for the chance to become one of our winners. We hope to see you INTO THE DEEP!

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