Robotic’s at Aintree
After the triumphant success of Mosslands STEM team in the open heats of the Merseystem VEX robotic's challenge, they advanced to a place in the Greater Merseyside final held at Aintree race course.
After the triumphant success of Mosslands STEM team in the open heats of the Merseystem VEX robotic s challenge, they advanced to a place in the Greater Merseyside final held at Aintree race course.
The day of the final started alarmingly with the late news that chief build mechanic Alfie Egan could not escape the clutches of his sick bed (this on his birthday too) and so would be unable to turn out for the team, a worthy substitute was required! After frantic early morning calls Matthew Fitspatrick was promoted to the big league and became the 4th member of the robotics team The team led by Matthew Noyce, supported by primary driver Finley Groom and second mechanic Bradley Guy and with invaluable assistance from the parent possie set off to Liverpool for their challenge.
At Aintree even though the team had less build time than previous competitions, once in the zone, working as a stream lined team, displaying excellent time management skills and problem solving they produced “ One Arm Bandit” a robot ready for “battle”.
The battle hardened team faced competition from seven other winning teams including All Saints Catholic High, Ormiston Chadwick Academy, St Margarets C of E, Rainford High Technology College, Hillside High School, St Mary’s Catholic College and Broughton Hall.
After the league stages of the competiton Mosslands remained undefeated, with easy victories over St Mary’s and St Margarets and then went onto meet Rainford in the semi – finals. Mosslands took an early lead but some how time slowed down and Mosslands superiority momentarily left them and after a tense and thrilling 3 minutes – it was all over , they had lost 9 -8. Fortunately the loss was made easier to swallow with the awarding of a £750 VEX robots kit to the team and being the best VEX robotics team on the Wirral is not a bad title to take home.
The request for a “stewards inquiry” was a possibility but at Aintree it’s understandable to fall at the last hurdle and so next next year it’s time to get back in the saddle and show more resilience and resourcefulness!
A parents view
We had a brilliant insight into the STEM programme, seeing how motivated the boys were by being given a task to plan and execute together. The team worked so well together even though one member had only been drafted in that morning to replace Alfie who was ill. They were rewarded for their efforts by bringing a huge box of robot bits back to school to prepare for the next challenge at MerseySTEM Big Bang in Liverpool in July. It was easy to see how the skills they were using could be transferred to any problem solving task and eventually into the engineering world they could end up working in.
Finally a huge thank you to Mr Lam and the school STEM team for having the vision and determination to get the boys involved in as many such activities as they can.