The RGS Robotics Club recently competed in the Tomorrow’s Engineers Tournament held at Mid-Kent College. They competed against other local schools in a series of challenges.
The Robotics Club has been working to prepare for this event for many months by meeting together during lunchtimes and afterschool. They were a mixture of older and experienced robotics students and many younger students. They were coached by Mr Jackson and Mr Vidler and Sixth Form students David Fadare and Ore Emmanuel.
The theme for this year was “How could engineers support humanitarian aid in the future?” The team research and presented on how technology has led to ever advancing prosthetics for amputees and how these devices can become more useful and integrated for the wearer. Our students were confident in their presentation and delivery before the panel of judges as they discussed their research.
The students then competed in the robotics portion of the tournament by designing, building, and programming a robot made from Lego technic pieces. The robot had to complete a series of tasks within a certain time frame. The students who participated in this portion of the competition were all in year 7. They had a lot to learn to prepare for the competition. They also had the opportunity between matches to improve and perfect their design and programme. Great improvement was seen over the course of the day and the judges remarked on the quick advancements.
This progress was also seen in the racing portion of the event where they had to design a robot to travel a length of three metres as fast as possible. Some last-minute changes to the gears used to power the robot helped to cut their time down by half, ultimately coming in second-place.
The students then explained the design of their robot to a panel of judges. Before this presentation took place our older students, who have been to a previous robotics competition, helped to coach the younger students on refining their presentation, making eye contact, and speaking rather than reading from a script. They held quick practice sessions before they appeared before the judges. During their talk, the students did brilliantly, and took home the first-place trophy for this portion of the competition.
The team then excelled on the teamwork portion of the event. They had to quickly assembly a container out of an assortment of Lego bricks. The container had to safely travel down a steep incline while holding the cargo of a large rubber ball. The students were very quick to get to work on this timed task and assigned everyone a portion of the container to build. They worked with amazing speed, all helping and assisting the others. They judges were impressed not only by their team work but also later remarked on the manners as they were the only team to say “thank you” to the judges. They took home the first-place trophy for this event as well.
This was the most successful competition for the RGS Robotics Team so far. They are continuing the improve their knowledge of engineering, computer programming, design and research skills. The team continues to welcome new members who are interested in learning more. The next competition on the calendar will see the team move away from the Lego system and utilise the VEX-IQ robotics system for their next challenge.