Posted on the 2nd July 2024
Written by Vicki

Meet the CENTERSTAGE champions!

Our CENTERSTAGE season came to an epic end with teams battling to be crowned national champions at the University of Cambridge. Bringing together the very best youth robotics teams from all four nations, the UK Championship did not disappoint. 42 teams took to the game field to put their carefully designed robots and well-thought-out strategies to the ultimate test. Alliances were formed and memories were made in what came to be an electric celebration of young talent in STEM.

Let’s meet our Championship winners from all corners of our community…

Award-Winning Teams

Judges Award Winner – Humble Genius 

UK-095, 20937, Earth, Wind & Wire, CREATED Academy

“Coming from humble beginnings, demonstrating a passion to succeed whatever the challenge, overcoming all obstacles to deliver a working design and demonstrating the genius within. The judges chose to give the Humble Genius Award to this small team of two hoping you continue to believe in yourselves.”


Judges Award Winner – Overcoming Adversity

UK-510, 25390, FS Robotics, First Step Robotics

“The winners of this award demonstrated that FIRST Tech Challenge UK is More Than Robots. They stood out to the judges with their passion and determination to overcome adversity.”


Motivate Award Winner

UK-541, 25357, P4F Robotics, Passion4Fusion

“From breaking boundaries, fighting for their community and representing themselves in a highly competitive field such as STEM, to great sportsmanship and advocacy for what they believe in, this team has motivated us all today with their passion, energy and comradery.”


Design Award Winner

UK-378, 21196, Norwood Industries, The Norwood School

“This team had a very well-engineered design on paper and in practice. Even with their striking use of purple, this team managed to keep a balance between form, function and aesthetics. Their reliable design of the double grabber ensured their success on the field.”


Control Award sponsored by Arm, Inc. Winner

UK-068, 21024, CalderDrones, Calderstones School

“This team’s control system cruised to success. Some might say their side pods are their most distinctive feature but their 3D-printed Mount Rushmore was even more unique.”


Innovate Award sponsored by Raytheon Technologies Winner

UK-384, 20992, Berkeley Robotics, SGS Berkeley Green UTC

“This award was very difficult to judge. The winning team stood out with their creative approach to overcoming challenges on the game field. Their unique pixel gripper sprung them to success.”


Connect Award Winner

UK-235, 19280, Blackout Robotics, American School in London

“Many teams displayed huge skills in their outreach projects and mentoring, and it has been lovely to see you all showing dedication to making the STEM community more accessible to all. The Connect Award goes to a team focusing on multiple and even international outreach and mentoring projects.”


Think Award Winner

UK-497, 25268, Powercut Robotics, Langley Park School for Boys

“This team tackled engineering challenges head-on and persevered towards creative solutions. They had a rigorous design process including physical drawings, whiteboard sessions as well as CAD diagrams. To support this, their entire journey was captured highlighting every lesson learned and iteration made. What an exceptional journey for this team.”


Division 1 Finalist Alliance

Captain – UK-344, 21000, Digital Pancakes, Friends’ School

1st Team – UK-497, 25268, Powercut Robotics, Langley Park School for Boys


Division 2 Finalist Alliance

Captain – UK-451, 22593, DRAKON, Harris Academy Sutton

1st Team – UK-373, 20995, Vision Robotics, Egglescliffe School


National Finalist Alliance

Captain – UK-247, 19282, The Qwazy Qwokkas, American School in London

1st Team – UK-456, 22457, Ultraviolet, Bournemouth School for Girls


National Winning Alliance

Captain – UK-235, 19280, Blackout Robotics, American School in London

1st Team – UK-378, 21196, Norwood Industries, The Norwood School


Inspire Award Winner

UK-456, 22457, Ultraviolet, Bournemouth School for Girls

“The Inspire Award celebrates the very best of FIRST Tech Challenge UK. On a technical level, this team embraced the challenge, taking the ups with the downs. Their portfolio was detailed, technical and extremely high-quality, setting the bar for future years. On a personal level, they’re an active role model conducting themselves with effortless grace and inspiring enthusiasm. Even when points didn’t go in their favour on the field, they were considerate, respectful and supportive of others.”

Volunteers of the Year 

Craig Hamilton, Postgraduate Research Student at Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

“The person getting this award is new to FIRST Tech Challenge UK this year. They have jumped into the role of Lead Robot Inspector and Head Referee with both feet, volunteering at not just their local qualifying tournament in Scotland, but also three other qualifiers and now Champs! Their commitment to robotics is evident, studying a PhD in robotics and creating a mini robotics lab in their house!”


Dr Steven Harris, Electronics Engineer

“The person getting this award has been with FIRST Tech Challenge UK for many years, trying his hand at several roles. Alongside supporting four of this year’s Qualifying Tournaments, he unwaveringly mentors two teams at Newcastle Academy, and has this year extended his mentoring reach visiting Mary Webb School and Science College to get them off the ground in their first year.”


Jasper Hikspoors, System Engineer at Sioux Technologies BV

“We couldn’t have delivered our Qualifying Tournaments without this person this year. He is the face of the Control Systems Advisor role and his support across eight Qualifying Tournaments helped us, but most importantly you succeed.”


Teejay Dowe, Director at Back on Track Teams & Spark to Your Success CIC

“This person has been on a long journey with FIRST Tech Challenge UK, joining us at our very first North West Regional in 2019. As our Judge Advisor, shepherding judges at any tournament is no easy feat, but her people skills and passion for ensuring every young person gets a fair chance in life is what gives her the ability to succeed so beautifully in this role.”


Andy Batey, Computer Officer at the University of Cambridge and University Information Services & STEM Ambassador

“Our final volunteer of the year has been on the journey with us since 2019, guiding many of you to your success. He was at nine qualifying tournaments, and on behalf of every young person in this room, I want to say a massive thank you to Andy for supporting them on their journey in STEM, discovery of robotics and themselves. You are ever-present, a fountain of knowledge and a hero of the FIRST Tech Challenge UK A-Team.”

Compass Award Winners

Peter Gallant, Teacher of Computing at Calderstones School

“The person getting this award was nominated by five different teams in the North West. They have been described as inspiring, kind and the most helpful person on Planet Earth.”


Joss Benyon, Software Engineer at Raytheon Technologies

“The person getting this award has mentored a team throughout the season, volunteered at events and even brought some of his colleagues along for the ride! This mentor has never stopped believing in his team, shows up to every session and is appreciated by the whole team who respect his enthusiasm for this competition.”


Shaun John, St John Fisher Catholic College Alumni and Team Mentor

“The person getting this award has had quite a journey with FIRST Tech Challenge UK. He started as a team member and now mentors two teams at his school, even though he has his own education to focus on. The teams want to say ‘a huge thank you to Shaun. We wish you good luck in the future. We know you will be incredible in whatever you choose to pursue.’”


Toby Osbourne, Assistant Headteacher at Bournemouth School for Girls

“Our fourth winner is a FIRST Tech Challenge UK powerhouse. This teacher always goes above and beyond making sure not only his own teams excel, but that he shares that support across the South West.”


James Rhee, Director of Learning of Design and Technology in Art and Enrichment at Harris Academy Sutton

“This person was nominated with great passion. ‘Our teacher is the reason we are such a strong team and have found our passion for robotics and STEM. Aside from the incredible way he has mentored our team, our teacher puts the same amount of effort and love into other teams in the South East.’” 

Team Rankings

Want to know where your team ranked on the game field? You can find all the figures here


Congratulations to all teams who made it to the last stage of the 2023-24 season. Good luck on your FIRST Tech Challenge UK journeys ahead; you should be proud of how far you’ve come already!


And that brings our 2023-24 season to a close! We couldn’t be more grateful to all of our partners, Game Changers, team leads and Champion Organisations for their support this season. FIRST Tech Challenge UK has always been about community and we hope you’ve all enjoyed the CENTERSTAGE rollercoaster as much as we have.

Mum! We’ll be on TV

Keep an eye out for our BBC Click feature on Saturday, 06 July to get a slice of the action. You can tune in at either 07:30AM or 07:30PM.


Make sure to register for next season to secure your spot on the game field! 


See you at INTO THE DEEP. Let’s build #MoreThanRobots 

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