Heathrow Lego Coding Challenge

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical careers (STEM) were the focus for Thamesmead Year 8 students who took part in the Heathrow Lego Coding Challenge last week.

Staff and volunteers from Heathrow Airport delivered the challenge to students who thoroughly enjoyed this team event. The challenge was based upon the Heathrow Pods; the Personal Rapid Transit systems that provide transport between the business car parks and Terminal 5, which supports Heathrow’s air quality and sustainability objectives.

Students had to build a Lego pod and then enter coding into a laptop to programme the pod to navigate a short course. The team that programmed the pod to complete the course in the fastest time will take part in finals at Heathrow later this year. One of the girls taking part said, “ The visitors were really helpful and made the 2 hours of my day amazing. They definitely put a smile on my face. It has made me want to do something like that when I am older.”

Heathrow recognises that knowledge of coding is more important than ever for the career prospects of young people; to fulfil future career opportunities, it is estimated that the UK will need a workforce of one million digital skilled workers by 2020. After the students had completed the challenge they heard about the future careers and apprenticeship opportunities that are and will be available to them in the future.  It is estimated that there will be 10,000 apprenticeship opportunities at Heathrow by 2030.

Here are the Thamesmead students in action with the volunteers.