Pupils’ robotic masterpiece secures top spot in contest

Pupils at Thomas Gainsborough School who won the National Grid robotic competition. ANL-150104-102101001
Pupils at Thomas Gainsborough School who won the National Grid robotic competition. ANL-150104-102101001

Students from Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard won top prize at a robotic competition after their creation excelled in a series of tests.

The youngsters battled it out against three other teams from the county with a robot they had designed, programmed and built using a robotics kits donated by National Grid.

They tested the creations in a series of matches, which saw pupils steer their robots through cones, dribble balls, score goals and stack cubes.

National Grid’s robot scheme aims to encourage more students into studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

Oliver Trethewey, a science teacher at the school, who was involved with the scheme, said: “This is the most tremendous thing I have seen in 16 years of teaching, and it is certainly the best education scheme in existence.”

National Grid senior project manager Brian Smethurst, who presided over the tournament, said the project was all about inspiring youngsters.

“It is really impressive to see what these students are achieving,” he said. “We’re going to need 200,000 engineers in this country by 2023 and that is just in the energy and utilities sector alone.

“If young people get these key qualifications, doors to fantastic careers will open.”