Our US stay

STUDENTS from Comet country have proved they are just as good at building robots as their American counterparts. Florence Beaumont, Jack Kemp, David O Dell and Bonnie Pickard, all from Barclay School in Stevenage, took part in the first Robot Southern Ca

STUDENTS from Comet country have proved they are just as good at building robots as their American counterparts.

Florence Beaumont, Jack Kemp, David O'Dell and Bonnie Pickard, all from Barclay School in Stevenage, took part in the first Robot Southern Californian Regional Finals in Los Angeles.

They spent two days building robots and taking part in demonstration matches and they also attended a full day of school classes at the Chaminade campus.

However it was not all work for the students, who found time to visit Universal Studios, go shopping and even see dolphins swimming off Malibu Beach.


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Katie Goodman, head of science, said: "We quickly learnt that we could build a Vex robot that was sufficiently robust to compete with our American hosts but that we need to gain a far greater appreciation of the tactics used during matches. There are several game play strategies involved and we need to work on these for future competition. Our hosts, Chaminade, won the Southern Californian Regional First Robot Championship during our visit and we could not have a better school mentoring our robot team development.

Alan Fuller, school governor, added: "Our sponsors for this trip, MBDA, The Stevenage Community Trust, Chelton Radomes and The Rotary Club, were most generous in their support but, if we want to go back to LA next year and become the first UK school to compete there with a FIRST robot, we will need to find about $20,000.

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"This visit has shown us that Stevenage youngsters have the skills and behaviours to compete internationally and any companies interested in supporting our 2007 campaign should contact our headteacher.

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