Community 19.03.19

UTC students launch fundraising campaign to attend World Robotics Championship

Talented students at UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park have launched a fundraising campaign after winning a place in the world’s largest robotics championships in America.

Six students in Year 13 have been selected to represent the UK in the VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, from 24 April to 1 May 2019.

The students are one of nine teams nationally to have qualified and the only team from the North of England. Around 1,200 teams of young people globally are taking part.

Now, the UTC team has launched a £13,000 fundraising campaign to cover travel costs to the international competition.

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At UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – which is Ofsted graded ‘good’ – students complete high quality technical qualifications in computing, health sciences or sport science as well as GCSEs and A Levels.

Winning this prestigious competition place follows the team’s successful performance at the VEX Robotics UK National Championships this month where they performed a series of technical tasks involving a robot they designed, built and programmed. The team comprises Ben Allen, Annija Balode, Dominic Barter, Cerys Evans, Christian Marriott and Declan Rhodes.

Student Dominic Barter said: “It is an incredibly proud moment for me and my team to finally win at the nationals after two years of hard work. The opportunity of being able to go to the VEX Robotics World Championships with my teammates, but more importantly friends, will be a trip of a lifetime and allow us to experience first hand the fantastic camaraderie and creativity of other budding engineers and computer scientists.”

Colin Smith, Curriculum Director of Computing, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, who mentors the team, said: “This is an incredible achievement. I am very proud of the students for not only winning their VEX Robotics Worlds qualifying place but also working well as a team and practicing the project management and programming that we teach at the UTC.”

He added: “It is also testament to the high level computing skills they have had the opportunity to develop at the UTC, which are much sought after by employers. The UTC model works for those who are technically and academically able to succeed. Our students are the engineers of tomorrow and they want to give it their all at the VEX Robotics World Championships alongside the top young robotic minds on the planet so please help them with their fundraising appeal.”

Bridie Gaynor, Competition Manager (UK & Europe) at VEX Robotics, added: “VEX has grown exponentially in this last year seeing our primary team numbers double, which shows the interest in robotics is starting at a younger age than ever. VEX gives students high quality skills in engineering and programming, which we believe can help reduce the deficit of 1.8 million engineering employees required in the UK alone by 2025.”

The VEX Robotics National Final, held on 1-2 March at Telford International, sponsored by leading software firm Autodesk and global security giant Northrop Grumman, attracted more than 120 primary and secondary school teams from across the UK.