Dereham students show their science and technology skills at national final

Students from Neatherd High School in Dereham competed in the FIRST Lego League final in Bristol. P

Students from Neatherd High School in Dereham competed in the FIRST Lego League final in Bristol. Picture: Bear Chapman - Credit: Bear Chapman

A team of students from Neatherd High School in Dereham represented the east of England at the national final for FIRST Lego League in Bristol.

The Neatherd team NeXT at the FIRST Lego League final in Bristol. Picture: Institution of Engineerin

The Neatherd team NeXT at the FIRST Lego League final in Bristol. Picture: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). - Credit: IET

Team NeXT consisted of Aaron Nicholson, Lili-Mae Nicholson, Sergio Mendes, Olaf Don, Edward Curl and Billy Hall. They were joined by six-year-old Bear Chapman (support crew and official team photographer) and their teacher Jason Chapman (Head of Design & Technology).

The competition, run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, is for students of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and sees over 250,000 young people taking part each year across the world.

They research a real world problem and develop a solution using STEM applications. This year's theme was animal allies.

At the national final they faced 48 teams from around the country competing in four tasks - Robot Game, Robot Design, Project and Core Values. Each team was given slots to present each of these areas to the judges and three Robot Game slots to demonstrate the robot completing the challenges set.


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The Neatherd team's presentations went well with all members of the team demonstrating a shared responsibility within the team and team work.

Mr Chapman said: 'In the first robot games we were well placed, and even appeared on the IET's live feed of the competition which was great as many at home were tuning into this.

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'The second game didn't go so well with a glitch in software, so we worked on refining the problems and came out with our highest score in round three, something the team should be exceptionally proud of.

'The robots can misbehave on the day due to different lighting environments and the sensor picks up ambient light, so they need constant recalibration.

'But we had a fantastic day, there were over 100 judges from a range of different engineering and science backgrounds.'

He said while they did not secure one of the top ten places needed to go to the world championships they were proud of their achievements and at being crowned regional champions at the East of England round, which they hosted.

* You can watch coverage of the whole day on the IET.tv livestream through the link www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xh30tVzvMQ.

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