Merthyr Schools Robotics Competition the focal point of National Science and Engineering Week  

Over 35 pupils from local Merthyr schools took part in the finals of the Merthyr Schools Robotics Competition at Merthyr College on Tuesday the 18th March. The contest, which was sponsored by Miller Argent, was aimed at teaching local pupils the importance of skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and raising awareness about National Science and Engineering Week.

The finals followed a four day workshop, run by Dark Sky Wales at the Miller Argent Education Centre, in which 42 teams from schools across Merthyr learnt how to build and program robots to complete a range of tasks. The best teams then progressed through to the final at Merthyr College.

The children had three and a half hours to build a robot from scratch, and then program it to navigate a replica lunar surface, rescue a stranded astronaut and safely clear a path through moon debris. This challenging task required the youngsters to work together to apply the knowledge they had acquired in the workshops.

Throughout the competition the children were marked for both their technical ability in programming and building the robot, as well as their team-work and communication skills. Following the final event, where the teams demonstrated their robot performing on the lunar landscape, the winning team from Twynyrodyn School was announced.

The winning team members won individual tablet computers and an accredited robotics course for 30 pupils at their school, sponsored by Miller Argent.