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Pupils are engineering for a trip to California

The Bede Academy VEX Robotic team with their robot and excellence award, from left, Ryan Robertson, Rhys Gales, Josh Aisbitt, Alexander Forsythe, Thomas Henderson and Carl Bradley.

The Bede Academy VEX Robotic team with their robot and excellence award, from left, Ryan Robertson, Rhys Gales, Josh Aisbitt, Alexander Forsythe, Thomas Henderson and Carl Bradley.

AN engineering company is helping young robot designers at a Blyth school compete for the trip of a lifetime.

An invention by Bede Academy students has already brought them success at a competition in York, and now they are hoping to test their skills at a world championship in California.

But first they have to take part in the UK final in Birmingham and Tyneside-based British Engines Limited, which has worked with the school since it opened, is supporting their trip to the Midlands through its Community Fund.

Every year the REC (Robotics Education and Competition) Foundation issues a challenge to design and build a robot.

The Bede team, of nine young engineers, aged 12 and 13, beat off the competition in the regional championships in York.

They came away with an excellence award and a reputation for good sportsmanship after fixing the robots of two visiting teams.

The team will head to Birmingham next month to compete against nearly 50 other secondary schools.

Engineering teacher, Allan Robinson, said: “These boys deserve all the praise they get.

“The first robot they designed had several issues. With only two weeks to go they stripped it back and started again. It has been a big test in problem solving.

“Without the support of British Engines there’s no way the team would have time to fund raise the money needed for accommodation and travel to the national championships.

“We want this to be the start of something bigger in years to come at Bede.

“The boys are working together to make their robot the best – so they can take it to the world championships in California.”

Team captain, Alexander Forsythe, said: “We had some pretty crazy designs at the beginning but Mr Robinson helped us make things simple but innovative, and we found a design that works – let’s hope the robot is good enough.”

 

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