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The MerseySTEM Robotics Challenge Grand Final 2015
After eight gruelling heats, pulverized processors, ruptured relays and mangled motors, the MerseySTEM Robotics Challenge Grand Final is upon us. On the 10th of December at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, eight Merseyside schools will compete to discover who can build the best battling bot. Bring on the Robot Wars!
MerseySTEM in conjunction with Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Vex Robotics have facilitated a series of eight Robotic Challenges, culminating in a grand final at Aintree Racecourse on December 10th 2015.
Robotics Challenge heats took place in Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton, Halton and St Helens and were sponsored individually by Urenco Group, AstraZeneca, Cogent, NGF Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Getrag Ford, Liverpool City Region Apprenticeships Hub and Sigmatex.
Each challenge saw teams of students from local schools take part in a full-day event, building their robots in the morning and pitting them against each other in the afternoon in a series of matches.
The winning teams progress to the Liverpool City Region Grand Final where they will compete against schools from across the region. All teams are supported by MerseySTEM, local professionals and STEM Ambassadors throughout.
This year’s finalists are: All Saints High School, Ormiston Chadwick Academy, St Margaret’s Academy, Rainford High School, Hillside High School, Broughton Hall High School, Mosslands School and St Mary’s Catholic College.
MerseySTEM Managing Director Michelle Dow said, “I love our Robot Challenges, it’s great that we don’t see our competitors faces for most of the morning as they are heads down, focused on building the best robot on the day. Questions come thick and fast: What do I do with this? How does this work? Can this be my own design? If you ask a 14 year old what advanced manufacturing or engineering is, usually the answer is ‘Er dunno – a mechanic?”
“The robot days give us the opportunity to change perceptions, challenge stereotypes, promote teamwork and provide careers advice to students using real role-models from our city. Robot Wars are nothing new, but whatever you say – robots are cool! The final is always amazing, we are literally on the edge of our seats. The students are always so excited and it’s great to see them so passionate about engineering!”
The MerseySTEM Robotics Challenges enable students to understand a variety of design, science and engineering principles and develop leadership and problem solving skills. The events aim to inspire and excite students’ interest in robotics & to demonstrate the practical application of mathematics and engineering… they also have a lot of fun!
Simon Reid, Sector Manager for Advanced Manufacturing, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “As the City Region’s economy continues to improve, more companies are facing a shortage of skilled workers, especially in Advanced Manufacturing. Now more than ever our future depends on a workforce with the necessary talents and training for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and the best way to ensure a steady supply of workers is through education. That is why initiatives such as the Robotics Challenge are so important; they provide an opportunity for our young people to really engage with the possibility of working in this sector and hopefully encourage them that Advanced Manufacturing is an exciting and rewarding career.”
The winning school from each heat receives a ‘VEX Competition Lab Kit’ worth over £750, as well as support from VEX Robotics with the opportunity to enter a further competition that culminates in a Grand Final at Big Bang North West 2016.
With eight days to go, the only question is which school will take the MerseySTEM Robotics Challenge title? Will it be you? We can’t wait to find out!
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