Robotics competition helps inspire engineers of the future

Students from five schools in Kent have shown off their new engineering skills at a VEX Robotics competition designed to inspire the engineers of tomorrow. VEX Robotics is a programme which is part of National Grid’s UK-wide scheme to encourage budding young engineers to take an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.

The tournament – held at Simon Langton Grammar School on Wednesday 29 June – saw students pit their wits against each other to build robots to enter into the VEX ‘Nothing but Net’ game in which the robots fire balls into nets set at different heights. Students from other Kent schools Dane Court Grammar School, Castle Community College, Invicta Grammar School and Sandwich Technology School, also competed.

Graeme George, subject leader for Computer Science at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, said: “The students have been truly inspired by this project. The competition was a great chance for our students to show off their hard work while learning new skills”.

Each of the schools received VEX Robotics kits from National Grid at the beginning of the academic year, and were tasked with building a robot to enter into the inter-school competition. The robots remain the property of each school, and the students are able to continue building and programming their robots to enter Regional and National VEX Robotics competitions in the upcoming school year.

“The idea behind the scheme is to try and provide a fun way to spark an interest in STEM subjects,” said Bob Jones, National Grid project engineer. “It was great to see the students enjoying themselves at the competition and who knows maybe some of them will go onto be the engineers of tomorrow.”