EU STEM Coalition: Taskforce Meeting - Cross-border Robotics Competitions (NL-DE)

EU STEM Coalition: Taskforce Meeting - Cross-border Robotics Competitions (NL-DE)

16 November 2022 to 18 November 2022
Host organisation: 
ZDI (STEM platform NRW)
City & meeting location: 
Dortmund / Mülheim
Short summary: 

On Novembver 16-18 a taskforce meeting took place in the margins of the World Robot Olympiad (Dortmund, Germany). The goal of the meeting was to explore potential collaboration opportunities between the Dutch National STEM Platform (PTvT) and the North Rhine-Westphalia STEM Platform (ZDI) in the area of robotics education and competitions. Multiple paths of collaboration were discussed, including connecting the existing Lego League and ZDI robotics activities and merging the pool of companies that contribute to the Dutch 'Career Day' activities and its ZDI counterpart. The lessons learnt from the World Robot League will also be further assessed by the Dutch FIRST Lego League team.

Objective of the meeting: 

The objective of the meeting was two-fold:


  1. To explore possible cross-border collaboration opportunites between PTvT and ZDI
  2. Explore how the Dutch FIRST Lego League could be upscaled using formats presented during the World Robot League (as well as Robotics Education Activities implemented by ZDI)



Day 1

A networking dinner was organised for the participants of the Dutch and German (NRW) STEM platforms to get to know eachother and eachothers' organisations in an informal way.


Day 2: Work sessions

Representatives of both participating organisations met for a series of work sessions and discussions on the national / regional STEM landscape, existing robotics education activities and potential areas for cooperation. The presentations included:


  • Overview of national / regional context in STEM education in the Netherlands / North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Presentations on organisational structure and funding models of the platform organisations with particular focus on the role of industry
  • Presentations of the existing STEM education activities, including Jet-Net&TechNet (JNTN) (NL), Sterk Techniek Onderwijs (STO) (NL), FIRST Lego League (NL), Vakkanjers (NL), BSO-MINT (DE), Roboterwettbewerb (DE)


A detailed overview of the content of each presentation can be found in the meeting documents via the 'Download' button. 


The final part of work session was focused on exploring various possibilities for cross-border cooperation in the area of robotics education (see next steps below).


Day 3: World Robot Olympiad

During day 3 of the programme the World Robot Olympiad was visited where students from all over the world were competing in several different competitions concerning robot building (see background documents). Moreover, multiple student teams were showcasing their engineering projects.The purpose of the visit was to get inspiration and explore the various programme models that exist in robotics education.



Next steps: 

Representatives of PTvT (NL) and ZDI (DE) agreed to the following action points for the exploration and testing of cross-border cooperation formats:


  • Robot competition: pilot that is separate from the existing competition. Mixed teams with German and Dutch students together that live close to border. Ways to further integrate both competitions will be explored.
  • Career days: German companies will be invited to participate in the existing Dutch national Career Days event, and vice versa.
  • The lessons learned from the World Robot League will be assessed for the further development of the Dutch FIRST Lego League programme (launched for the first time this year by PTvT).