Students take their robot to competition’s national final

Bede Academy's team of robot engineers (front) with teachers Emma Pamplin and Allan Robinson, Graham Parker of Tynetec and Bede Academy sixth former Jack Herron.
Bede Academy's team of robot engineers (front) with teachers Emma Pamplin and Allan Robinson, Graham Parker of Tynetec and Bede Academy sixth former Jack Herron.
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FINAL preparations are under way for a group of young engineers taking part in the finals of a robot building competition.

The students at Bede Academy in Blyth, have just a few days of fine tuning left before they take their robot to London on Friday.

The team earned its appearance at the Big Bang Fair by winning the Excellence Award at a regional heat earlier this year.

Success at the national finals will see them head to California for the VEX Robotics World Championships.

Throughout the competition the team, who are all members of Bede’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) club, have been supported by teachers and the expertise of sponsor Tynetec.

Osbit Power and British Engines also provided funding towards the project.

Graham Parker, a research and development engineer at Tynetec, said: “We have a strong relationship with the academy and we were happy to help.

“Since the regional finals we’ve advised on the gear ratios to make sure the robot’s arm lifts correctly and my colleague, Sarah Jackson, has helped with its autonomous operations.”

Engineering teacher Allan Robinson said: “The students come in before and after school, at break times and lunch times to do a huge amount of development work, which has taken the robot to another level.

“It’s now a more efficient robot with the errors ironed out.

“The students now have a robot that’s the best it can be.

“They have a really excellent chance in the national finals.

“We couldn’t have done it without the sponsors’ help, but equally the students have shown tremendous commitment, great teamwork and improved their problem solving skills.”

The team of 12 to 14-year-olds – Alexander Forsyth, Thomas Henderson, Ryan Robertson, Sally Dobson, Rhys Gales, Carl Bradley and Josh Aisbitt – has also designed a website and blog.