In late February, a team of intrepid young engineers from Years 7 to 9 set out to represent QEGS at Skelmersdale College, for the Tomorrow’s Engineers Real Robotics Challenge.
This event was the culmination of weeks of preparation by the pupils, who spent every Monday evening after school learning to build and program a robot made of Lego Mindstorms. The challenges on the day included; a speed and control drag race challenge, programming and performing a robotic dance routine, completing a series of sub-challenges based around an “ecologically themed” map, giving a presentation to a professional panel on using technology in an ecological way and a secret “unseen” engineering challenge to discover on the day.
When the day arrived, the students took to each challenge with enthusiasm and confidence, and there were several fantastic moments in each of the challenges; the drag race went extremely well, with our robot (“Lizz-E”) completing the course in a very respectable time. The dance routine was entertaining and the team’s relaxed attitude and confidence in their presentation won the panel over immediately. The unseen challenge was to build a marble slide out of paper cups and plates, but with the catch that the marble had to complete the course in the longest time possible- a deceptively hard challenge to say the least!
The map challenge was the main event of the day. This included sub-challenges such as collecting a Lego tree and bringing it to a garden without harming the other plants. Collecting and pushing a ball up a cardboard hill, opening a robotic gate to collect a car and collecting randomly placed tyres from the lake, which then had to be returned to our base, all under a strict time limit! This was the challenge all teams focussed on and teams could adjust the programming and design up to the last second before they were due to try the challenge. The challenges went splendidly, with a memorable moment being a last-second addition to Lizz-E’s scoop accidentally catching on a tyre, flicking it through the air and directly into our base, earning us the full marks for that challenge!
Overall, our team showed excellent teamwork and enthusiasm throughout, and represented the school exceptionally well. A sincere congratulation to all involved; Yusuf Burondkar, Isaac Blackburn, Nathan Millward, Jaden Baron, Ali-Shaan Malik, Nurain Wadiwala, Zishan Wadiwala and Christopher Chen, and a special thanks to Mr Hargreaves and Mrs Cave for making this a special day.