Robotics Challenge regional winners
Year 7 pupils were crowned winners of a regional robotics challenge
A team of 10 Year 7 students from Balcarras Robotics Club competed in the Southwest/Midlands Regional EEP Robotics Challenge on Monday 22nd May. Arriving in the morning at Warwick Trident College with their pre-built and programmed robots, the team quickly set out their plans for the day's competition. The first challenge was the Speed and Control Challenge where teams had to design and build a robot that would travel 2m, stop and then reverse back again, in the fastest time. Our team set a quick time of 4.6s but were closely followed by second place with a time of 4.8s. The second run saw the second-place team improve their time to 4.5s so they had to tweak the robot to see if they could beat that. A tense run saw Lucas (Speed Challenge Captain) put in a great time of 4.2s. A fantastic effort put the team in great spirits for the remaining challenges.
Next up was the Robot Design/Engineering Presentation where our team had to create a presentation explaining how the robots were design, developed and built. Following that they had to include a section on how engineering could help save the planet. Presentation Team Captain, Lottie A, helped by George K, Frank C and Felicity F, led the project superbly and the judges were blown away with the students' knowledge of their robots.
Before lunch, the students attempted their first run of the Challenge Mat, where they had to complete multiple mini challenges with their robot in under five and half minutes. It was a solid run and they scored well on most of the attempts. The Challenge Mat Team, with Team Captains, Ila C and Freya B, assisted by Quinn F, Ava V and Ellie H, knew they would need to make a few adjustments for the second run after lunch but felt confident that they knew what needed to be done.
After lunch, the team moved onto the Teamwork Challenge. They were tasked with building a free-standing Lego tower as high as they could. Judges were looking for planning, communication and teamwork skills. The whole team contributed brilliantly and it was obvious to the judges how well they planned and communicated their attempts.
Finally, the team attempted their second run of the Challenge Mat and where confident the changes they made after their first try would score them more this time around. The team's effort was again commendable, but they felt the attempt scored a little lower than the first go.
It was a tense wait leading up to the awards at the end of the day but when Balcarras' name was read out as regional winners the team were ecstatic!! The judges commented on how much fun they brought to the event and their great understanding of STEM topics. The team will now move through to the UK Final at the Big Bang Science Fair, held at the NEC Birmingham on June 21st, where they will compete against 40 other schools from across the UK.