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Tech-savvy Swanmore students take on rest of the UK in robot challenge
5:11pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 in Winchester
IT’S often said that children spend too much time with gadgets these days.
But it’s paid off for pupils from Swanmore College of Technology who are through to the national finals of a robotics competition.
The eight-pupil team won the First Lego League (FLL) Hampshire competition held at Intech in Winchester in December, and will now take on 21 other teams from the UK at the final at Loughborough University on January 26.
In a repeat of the regional challenge, the team have to build and programme an autonomous Lego robot to solve a number of problems, including tasks to help the elderly such as climbing stairs and turning off switches.
They also have to demonstrate good teamwork and understanding of the technology by making presentations to judges.
Swanmore technology teacher David Hedicker said: “I’m thrilled with the team’s work. It’s the third time we have won the regional competition and to reach that standard again is fantastic.
“I was really pleased with how they demonstrated the core values of working as a team. They created a jigsaw puzzle and each wrote what they brought to the team on a piece. It showed that if they each had not done their part the puzzle would not fit together, which is a very impressive idea. I’m not sure I would have thought of that at 15!”
Ella Dixon, 14, who has been part of the team for four years, said they were up for the challenge at Loughborough.
She said: “It’s been really enjoyable each year because we have had completely different teams with some great characters but we all work really well together. “We are all geared up for the national competition and we would like to think we can win it.”
The winners get a place at the FLL World Festival in the USA later this year.