A group of students from Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun competed in the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge, where they undertook a new challenge this year commemorating the 100th anniversary of the RAF. The 10 students that competed were Nia Davies, Lloyd Jones, Lexie Williams, Tayleigh Rees, Emyr Lloyd, Joel Lewis, Eleri Griffiths, Alys Watkins, Eleanor Hope and Menna Morris. They chose to adopt last year's British Champions' name of ‘Optimus Primates 2.0’.
The work started in September with the team developing a strategy for the robot challenge, and materials research for the presentation. It was very pleasing to see the enthusiasm and inventiveness from Joel, Nia, Emyr, Lloyd and Tayleigh as they devised a robot that could solve problems on the challenge board e.g. devising a device using a Lego Mindstorm robot to lift and carry an aeroplane from one side of the board to the other, and a device sensitive enough to lift a small Lego figure safely without dropping it or splitting it in two. Whilst this took place Eleri, Lexie, Alys, Menna and Eleanor were busy developing and honing their presentation skills. In addition, Emyr was busy creating a second robot designed to complete a distance race in the shortest time.
During the Welsh Regional round (which saw 8 other schools competing for the first time in Wales), being in RAF St. Athan for the Centenary celebrations was quite an experience. The competition was fierce with Emyr winning the fastest robot competition, the presentation team wowed the interview panel and the robot challenge team performed outstandingly. Their preparation and practice payed off and they won the Welsh Regional round, making them the Welsh National Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotic Challenge Cymru winners!
During the British Finals in Birmingham, after non-stop practice, reaching the NEC for the second consecutive year was quite an achievement. The girls received high praise from Lego executives from Denmark; Emyr came second in the 8m sprint race with a time of 3.47 seconds, and the team completed the robot challenge successfully, with only 3 or 4 other schools managing to complete the task out of the 46 competing on the day. The team were rewarded for their efforts by achieving 5th place. Coming 5th in Britain is quite an achievement and an excellent performance considering the competition where there were 46 other schools competing on the day, with 480 schools participating with an overall total of 8,000 students across Britain!
The school is very proud of our students and we would also like to thank Mr Kevin Davies, Mrs Catryn Brace and everyone who's supported the students on their trip to Birmingham.