Lytchett Minster School students did an amazing job to get to the final of the Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge – out of 500 schools and a thousand teams, putting them among the top 48 competitors. This was a fitting achievement for the students’ hard work and preparation. At the event, which was part of the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, they were excellent representatives of the school, showing themselves to be hard working competitors and engineers. They also had the chance to look at the huge selection of STEM stands at the Big Bang Fair, which showcased all sorts of potential careers, including a slightly larger robot brought along by the military: maybe this will be what they’re making in 10 years’ time!
The following report was written by Luke Nicholas (Year 8)
Lytchett Minster School was proudly represented by Rees Jones (Year 7), Alfie Rawlings (Year 8) and Luke Nicholas (Year 8) at the Tomorrow’s Engineers final at the Birmingham NEC. We had to complete a series of tasks such as a race and a challenge mat.
Firstly, we had two tries, back to back, on the racetrack. It was 8 metres long and timed by robots. It was also on tables that would have led to catastrophe if our race car couldn’t go straight … however, our car is incapable of turning! On the first go, the gears weren’t properly connected and it slowed down towards the end; on the second go it sped up significantly! Ours was ideal for the challenge optimising lightweight parts and extreme gearing.
We then had to tackle a series of challenges, pushing our robot to the limit. With not-so F1-grade wheel changes and a destroyed plane, we completed these. In the limited five minutes allowed, we failed the ramp the first time, but succeeded the second time. The dance section showed the judges our not-so-funky dance moves, and the engineering challenge was a pain in the head – the engineers’ head!
Throughout the morning we had to complete a teamwork challenge, which involved exploring the halls and working things out as a team. We handed the form in on the dot and used the ancient art of counting to complete two of the questions in the teamwork challenge. We also had to explain our design ideas and problems we overcame to the judges, despite it being a little awkward when we had nothing to say!
Finally, we were hunted down by the judges to show them our idea of how robots could improve the future for humanity. Our robot was a rescue drone, designed for search and rescue and to act as an ambulance that doesn’t require personnel. They saw us at our pod, which was beautifully decorated with artwork and had our name board – which we hope will eventually be displayed in the IT block.
Unfortunately, in the awards presentation we didn’t win anything – although, with only ten awards and 48 schools competing, there was only a small chance of getting a prize – but we still had loads of fun!
If any student is interested in taking part in robotics, please email Mr Reghif.