It’s great to see a number of Northgate students take part in different activities and competitions during their time at the school. Bonnie, Year 8, tells us about a recent competition some of our STEM club students took part in:

‘On Thursday 7th February Mr Malin and Mr Logan took the Northgate Neurons to an amazing Lego robot competition at RAF Honington. Me (Bonnie), Emma, Louis, Nathan and Joshka formed our team of six. Our first setback was our team size, because the teams were meant to be of 8, and with one team mate sadly ill and the other unable to attend, we had to make do. When we arrived to the sight of the large jet outside the gate, we knew we were ready to take on these challenges.’

‘So, robots in hand, we walked in to RAF Honington’s gym. First, we had a talk about the competition, the rules and all the boring stuff. Then we could get stuck into it. The speed challenge was our first test, where we had to race one of our robots along a line to a box and back. Our end result time was 9.56 seconds I believe, leaving us in fifth place. Next up was our presentation – that we hadn’t prepared. Hurriedly, me, Emma and Louis tried to get a presentation together about eco engineering but we had no time. Going into the presentation room we knew we would have to make it up on the spot, but could we do it as a team? Of course we could! We spoke about our school, the thing we know best. Everything eco in our school was mentioned, from our recycling schemes to our ELF.’

‘After many challenges later, we came to the teamwork challenge. We had to get a spherical robot from one platform to another. A bridge and a car had to be built in 15 minutes. Our bridge had a beautiful design, and the car was simple and effective. It all worked wonderfully and we got an award for our team work on that challenge! Overall it was an amazing learning experience and something I would recommend to all years to try if they ever get a chance.’

A very proud Mr Malin commented, ‘Students have been working hard after school and during lunch times since November, so it was great to see their commitment pay off with a trophy. The group showed great adaptiveness, creativeness and flexibility to solve problems and overcome issues that cropped up on the day. The group were on form from the moment they arrived, making some nervous mistakes to start with but staying calm and pulling together for a really strong finish. They made a very compelling presentation on the importance of living sustainably and smashed the teamwork hidden challenge. Students also got a chance to chat to RAF engineers, finding out about drone operating, maintaining the new £70 million F-35 Lightning and other possible avenues careers in engineering. Needless to say, we all left feeling inspired!’