STEM Success in North of England Competition


On the 6th of January 2023 we were honoured to continue our campaign and compete for the glory of STEM champion of the North of England. At first all of us were nervous about the chance of getting such a big honour of beating the whole of North England. We entered the grand doors of Huddersfield University and were welcomed with refreshments and briefed on the oncoming day. With a bit of fear and a lot of excitement we were taken into the next room containing desks and the infamous 3D maze. The task was to traverse the maze with the robot equipped with light detecting sensors and a forward-facing proximity sensor. Our competitiveness was brimming, we were raring to go and defeat this seemingly easy task. After the computers were handed out the race began, working together to be the first.

After a recap of the previous robotics challenge, one that each team had previously won, we were left free to do as we pleased. To traverse the maze the fastest, each turn consisted of multiple commands all in a large string leading the robots further into the maze. At times we struggled with the sensors but after the deep inquisition of our code we made it past the obstacles.

After hours of arduous work, we were the first team to fully complete the obstacle course traversing around walls, red lines, and black lines. We had finished so we decided to decorate our robot with a cute smiley face finishing on a personal win.

After a long and hard day of work, programming the robots had come to an end and the presentation of awards started. Our team had some hopes of placing in the top three as we really tried throughout the day: to impress the judges, work together as a good team and to show our strengths. When it came to the presentation we all hoped we had placed; however we did have our doubts as we did have some competition. We sat there waiting as it became tense of who was going to place out of the eleven finalists. Then John (the organiser of the STEM competition) announced that in third place was… Saint Aidan’s! We were overjoyed that we placed and so were our teachers. We were all really proud of ourselves as we got up to go get our trophies and certificates and have a photo. Overall, it was an excellent experience, thoroughly enjoyed by all three of us and an amazing achievement that we have succeeded, not only winning out of the whole of Lancashire but placing third out of the whole of the north. We are all very proud.

Mr Wright said, “The STEM challenge final was a fantastic day. Even before our podium finish I was super proud of how well the students worked, their technical ability was fantastic, but their teamworking skills even better. To finish third in a competition which covered the whole of the North of England is an outstanding achievement which they are rightly very proud of and something as a school we will remember for years to come. Very well done to all three!”