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Engineering the future

On March 8, ten senior school girls took LEGO to the next level at the Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge at Rolls Royce in Derby. The programme sees students aged 11 to 14 work together in teams to solve real-world engineering, technology and computing challenges following this year’s theme: How can engineers support humanitarian aid in the future?

The nationwide Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenges are a chance for pupils to demonstrate their skills in a series of short aviation challenges for their creations. Tomorrow’s Engineers provides all the learning software and equipment for young STEM-minded pupils to get a headstart on studying engineering.

Year 8 Rebekah said, “The competition was divided into several categories and I took part in the Research Presentation along with Alisa and Adithi. We looked at the use of Robotics in disaster areas and each of us focused on a specific topic. I researched the use of Robotic Limbs and talked about the challenges faced by bio-engineers and discussed some of the solutions.

“The presentation was heard by a panel of three judges - one from Rolls Royce -  and we were asked questions about our topics. This was a bit daunting but we came first! It was a great feeling after all our hard work.”

The girls were delighted to win the Research Presentation category but also took advice on board about creating their robots. “The robotics competition was a lot of fun and it was great to see how hard all our work paid off. It was a fantastic opportunity to work as a team and persevere to try and amend challenges we faced when completing certain coding tasks,” said Alisa, Year 9.

“The day was very busy with presentations about how we had designed our robot to talking about robots we believed could help in disaster zones.

“From the judges' comments, we now know for the future how we could improve and hope that our experience will show next time. Finally, we ended the day with a quick insight into the motors and engines which Rolls Royce had designed over the years. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it was a great experience.”

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