A TEENAGER from Kendal received a special award for helping to inspire the next
generation of Cumbria’s science and technology leaders in a global competition.
Tristan Donato, of Sedgwick, celebrated his 16th birthday by giving up his time to
volunteer to help organisers of the FIRST LEGO League competition.
Tristan was a judge for the regional finals which took place in Barrow, Carlisle and
Workington, with the winners from each of five regional finals going on to the UK finals
in Bristol later this month with the chance to reach the world finals in the USA.
C-STEM director Fran Ward, who helps organise the FIRST LEGO League in Cumbria,
paid tribute to Tristan’s dedication in inspiring the next generation of problem solvers.
“Tristan is a massive help to the staging of the competition in Cumbria. And we wanted
to recognise that by making a presentation to him at the end of the regional finals.
“He helps build the tables for the robot challenge. He can assemble them in half the
time that even two people can do.
“He’s also a great judge for the competition as his knowledge of the rules is
Tristan said: “I make sure everyone understands the rules and give the competitors
advice on what they can and can’t do. I really enjoy being involved and helping out.”
Good news for Tristan is that there are likely to be more schools and businesses
involved in FIRST LEGO League from closer to home next year.
Pete Woolaghan, co-founder of REACT Engineering and the charitable REACT
Foundation, who is a big advocate of the competition, says inspiring more people to get
involved from the Kendal and Lakes area is the final piece of the Cumbria jigsaw.
Pete said: “Through a TeamCumbria approach we are creating a community of like-
minded individuals in businesses and organisations across Cumbria who are looking
outwards from the county and doing great things.
“This is what Cumbria should be doing more of - giving our amazing young people the
opportunity to shine on the national and international stage.
“We are looking to encourage schools and businesses from the Kendal, Windermere.
Ambleside and Central Lakes areas to get involved for the 2020/2021 competition which
starts in September this year.
“This will fill the map and mean the whole of Cumbria is involved which helps achieve
our ambition when we started out five years ago of getting 100 teams from Cumbria
taking part. This increases our chances of success in the national finals, and ultimately
for a team from Cumbria to be competing on the global stage in the world finals.”
A total of 72 schools took part in the Cumbria regional finals this year with teams from
Barrow, Carlisle and Gosforth winning through to the national finals in Bristol on
To find out more about FIRST LEGO League visit www.firstlegoleague.org. To discuss
how your school or business can get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org