Suffolk young engineers to take to world stage as LEGO robotics finalists
- Credit: Archant
A team of Suffolk students have qualified for the chance to represent England at the finals of a LEGO robotics competition on a global tour of Detroit, Brazil and Greece.
Six students from East Bergholt High School and Suffolk One won second place in Robot Design at the Institution of Engineering and Technology's First LEGO League England and Wales final on Saturday February 22 in Bristol.
The science and technology challenge tasked teams, aged nine to 16 years old, to build a robot to tackle a series of missions and create an innovative solution to a real world problem.
This qualified the group for the next stages of competition, which are to be held in several countries around the world.
Jake Lay-Flurrie is a student at Suffolk One and spoke about the overwhelming moment the team realised they would be going to the world finals.
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"When our name was called out at the awards ceremony it was as if it was a dream," he said.
"Years of hard work and learning all came down to this - the invitation to the world finals.
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"Absolute sheer joy and happiness rumbled through the team. Everyone was ecstatic, I was beyond words."
The students were close to tears when they heard the news and said that they couldn't have done it without East Bergholt computing teacher Dru Watts, who has been coaching First LEGO League for seven years.
Ms Watts is the only female teacher in Suffolk to be a Google-certified educator, trainer and innovator as well as being a STEM ambassador and Raspberry Pi certified educator.
She said: "This is the first time that we have reached the internationals and I am beyond proud of the team's creativity, technical skills and, most importantly, their teamwork skills.
"Most of the team didn't know each other before taking part and they are all now good friends across the year groups."
The team won the first heat of the competition back in January with a project which involves renovating a disused 'quad' outdoor space in the centre of a classroom block at the school.
They plan to get the school community involved in making 'eco-bricks' to build environmentally-friendly furniture and stop plastic going to landfill and hope to attract new wildlife back to the area.