Switched-on Stevenage students prove their metal by triumphing in Robot Rumble competition

The competition has been running for almost a year. Picture MBDA

The competition has been running for almost a year. Picture MBDA

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Pupils from Stevenage’s Nobel School outmanoeuvred teams from other Herts schools to win the final of the annual Robot Rumble competition on Saturday – the culmination of a year-long robotics challenge sponsored by Stevenage-based defence firm MBDA.

The Robot Rumble is an annual competition run by the Stevenage based firm. Picture: MBDA.The Robot Rumble is an annual competition run by the Stevenage based firm. Picture: MBDA.

The final of the competition, which pitted more than 100 competitors from 16 schools against each other, was hosted at the University of Hertfordshire’s Hatfield campus.

It kicked off with the competing schools presenting their spectacular robot designs to the judges.

This was followed by validation tests to see if their creations fulfilled the competition criteria, before they were entered into a series of challenges which included raising and stacking cones while navigating complexed routes.

Schools taking part in the competition from our area included Barnwell, Hitchin Girls’, John Henry Newman, Marriotts, Nobel, Priory, St Christopher and Thomas Alleyne.

The annual competition is set up by Stevenage-based missile systems firm MBDAThe annual competition is set up by Stevenage-based missile systems firm MBDA

The Nobel team was presented with a trophy at the prize giving ceremony and the top three ranked schools were each awarded two work experience opportunities at MBDA for their students.

Andy Baker, HR lead at MBDA, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a great turnout for the final of our annual Robot Rumble competition and it highlights the growing focus and interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) opportunities within schools.

“STEM sectors are at the forefront of technological advances; however they suffer from huge skills shortages and a major lack of diversity, which is concerning considering how much demand there will be for these skills in the near future.

“Events like Robot Rumble help to support the development of critical STEM skills in youngsters and also help to address misconceptions about what a career in engineering, for example, is actually like.

The team from St Christopher School in Letchworth.The team from St Christopher School in Letchworth.

“Congratulations to Nobel and all of the competitors for their efforts, this was by far the most innovative and interesting competition to date.”

Bob Lovelock, director of faculty for art, design and technology at Nobel School, added: “This is the third time we’ve won the Robot Rumble and we’re delighted to celebrate our hat-trick! We’ve spent two nights per week since September preparing for this, on top of all of our normal day-to-day activities, so it’s a fantastic feeling to be rewarded for our hard work.”

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