UTC Sheffield computing students win national robotics challenge

UTC Sheffield VEX Robotics

UTC Sheffield computing students have shown that their level technical skills are top of the class by winning a national robotics competition.

Two teams of Year 10 and Year 12 students attended a national Vex Robotics UTC Championships at Silverstone UTC in Northamptonshire this month on May 10th. The UTC Sheffield Year 12 students were crowned the competition champions whilst the group of Year 10 students won the judges award for innovative programming.

The event, involving three UTCs, was the first of its kind, and is part of wider moves by UTCs to address the skills shortages in science, technology, engineering and maths. Sarah Clark, Principal, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said:

I am so proud of our computing students. They have learnt how to successfully apply their engineering, design and computer science knowledge and skills to a sophisticated technical challenge. These are the type of skills that equip them for a great future in the workplace or at university.

Students took part in several challenges. They included operating a robot, previously designed by the students in the months prior to the competition, to move large stars and beanbags over a central fence onto the opposing team’s side. The competition tested teamwork, problem solving, delegation, project management, programming, design and building skills.

Colin Smith, Curriculum Director for Computing, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said:

Both teams were outstanding. The Year 10 team picked up the judges’ award trophy for their programming. The Year 12 team took home the tournament champion trophy. They excelled because of the opportunities that they get through their education using robotics equipment at the UTC. As well as having access to advanced technology in extra enrichment sessions, all students study robotics as part of the computing curriculum.

Bridie Gaynor, Competition Support Manager of Vex Robotics, added:

This was the first UTC only event and we hope it will become an annual fixture in both the VEX Robotics and UTC calendars, with more taking part next year. The teams performed superbly under the pressures of competition. The perseverance of the students was great to see. They had many restraints that they had to work around and like true engineers, they all managed to do that successfully. I look forward to seeing all of the teams at further competitions.

For more information about UTC Sheffield, please visit www.utcsheffield.org.uk

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