CRGS Students Progress to the World Championships of FIRST® LEGO® League

Posted On: 05/03/18

A team of young engineers from Colchester Royal Grammar School have progressed to the World Championships of the FIRST® LEGO® League. Along with 12 other teams, they qualified for the international finals, which will be held in Hungary, Estonia and the USA.

Team Aquarius is made up of Year 7-9 students Todd Cox, Jensen Hoy, Stephen Huang, Hemanth Ramkumar, Aaron Cox, Frederick Klingsick, Zachary Cliff, Blake Tudor, Hugh Anstee and Harvey Elson.

The students competed against 54 other teams at the competition’s UK and Ireland final, which took place on Saturday 24th February in Bristol. Typically, Team Aquarius are ecstatic about the scale of the challenge they now face. The boys are very proud to be representing the UK on the global stage when they attend the FIRST® LEGO® League World Festival in Detroit, USA next month.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) run this science and technology challenge, which is aimed at 9-16 year olds. Teams are tasked with building a robot to tackle a series of missions, and create an innovative solution to a real world problem. This year’s HYDRO DYNAMICSSM challenge is all about water – how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it.

Team Aquarius impressed the judges with their teamwork skills, as well as their project, which is designed to recover and use collected rainwater from large sites like schools, hospitals and large carparks for toilet flushing, cleaning and irrigation. A simple and inexpensive system of sand filter beds cleans debris from the collected water providing useful water for a range of tasks. Whilst reducing water bills by an estimated 48% the impact on our local water sources such as Abberton Reservoir is significant. With increased demand from an expanding town, Abberton Reservoir can maintain its capacity by drawing water from Denver, Norfolk. However, there is much that we can do locally to reduce demand. Water is a precious resource in this region and according to the team, residents, businesses and schools are all responsible for carefully considering how they use water and innovating where possible.

Team member, Frederick Kilngsick said “It’s unbelievable that we are through to the World Championships. We have been competing in LEGO® League for three years and always dreamed of this opportunity. Hopefully we can raise the funds needed to go to Detroit to take part in the World Championship against teams from around the world.”

Team coach, Stuart McCain commented “It’s a fantastic achievement by the students involved who have worked really hard throughout the year culminating in an intense two and a half minutes of LEGOtastic mayhem. The team are looking forward to competing at the World Championship in Detroit and representing the UK on a global level.”

Mandy Workman, FIRST® LEGO® League IET 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. The IET FIRST® LEGO® League gives students an insight into the creative and innovative careers that engineering offers.

“There is a great need for young people with STEM skills to fill the next generation of engineering roles and the IET are excited to see such bright young engineering minds in action in the FIRST® LEGO® League competition.”

The event was the largest ever FIRST® LEGO® League UK and Ireland final with over 500 young people, 150 volunteers and 500 enthusiastic spectators attending. The teams were all keen to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication.

The IET is proud to be the operational partner for FIRST® LEGO® League in the UK and Ireland. 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).

For more information about this year’s FIRST® LEGO® League competition, please visit