Rookie Robotics Team Wins Award

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A team of novice robot designers and technicians from Pymble Ladies’ College has won the Rookie Inspiration Award at the FIRST Robotics Competition’s South Pacific Regionals at Sydney Olympic Park.

The team, called Pymble Pride 6510, comprises of 41 students as well as ex-students and mentors who had less than six weeks to design and build a working robot to compete in alliances against other robots in the three-day competition. This year, the challenge was to build a robot to collect and deliver gears to an ‘airship’, throw balls into a ‘boiler’ and climb on board the ‘spaceship’.

Each student had a role within the team, ranging from team captain to pit crew, drivers, scouts and media.

“As team captain, it was my responsibility to have the robot and spaceship ropes successfully inspected, relay any scouted information to our mentor and drive team and constantly keep Pymble Pride’s pit area safe and tidy while answering the questions of any judges who passed by,” said year 10 student, Annie Ma.

More than 83,000 students from 25 countries around the world compete in this competition, with all Regional winners going on to compete in the World Championships held in Houston, Texas later in the year.

At the end of the qualifying rounds, Pymble Pride 6510 was ranked 19th amongst 39 teams. The team was also selected to be in an alliance by the seventh-seeded team to compete with the Sydney University and Curtin University teams in the finals.

In addition to winning the Rookie Inspiration Award, which acknowledges a rookie team’s outstanding success in promoting respect and appreciation for engineering within their school and community, Pymble Pride 6510 was recognised as one of the top three safest teams in the competition, winning a Safety Award.

“Our new co-curricular Robotics program is incredibly popular, with a growing number of students signing up to learn coding and engineering and work collaboratively to develop practical skills and experience in the STEM space,” said Principal, Mrs Vicki Waters.

“For a rookie team to achieve these results in its inaugural competition is a credit to the students’ passion for learning and discovery and the expertise of our STEM Co-ordinator, Dr Kristie Spence and the team mentors,” Mrs Waters said.

The team now has a few months to head back to the workshop to refine their robot in time to compete in Duel Down Under, another FIRST Robotics Competition to be held at Macquarie University in July.