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Manchester Street School robotics team wins global award

The Robotics team from Fielding’s Manchester Street School has once again brought home a prestigious award from the international VEX Robotics Challenge. Receiving the coveted ‘Judges Award’ for exemplary effort and perseverance, the Year 5/6 MSS robotics team has gained an international following with their third VEX Robotics award in three years.

“We are incredibly proud of our robotics team, the Odderbots,” says Manchester Street School principal Glen Richardson. “A huge amount of effort goes into the competition every year from the students, teachers and the community. And what’s more incredible is that the Odderbots membership turns over every year so that we are always bringing younger students into the club with the same impressive results.”

This year’s challenge saw hundreds of teams from schools around the globe competing to build robots from VEX Robotics components to complete a set of complex tasks to score as many points as possible within a one-minute round.

“Fielding students have a long track record of outstanding success in Robotics, says Geoffrey Ward, Year 5/6 teacher at MSS and Robotics co-ordinator. “In typical Kiwi fashion, our students think laterally to solve challenges, build prototypes, test and retest until they have a working model. All on their own time and all with their own ideas. It’s a privilege to be associated with the team.”

“STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and digital technology will underpin our economy and growth in the coming decades,” says Richard Hall, Regional Account Manager at New Era IT, one of the many organisations supporting the Odderbots robotics team.

“We work with primary schools up and down New Zealand and MSS clearly stands out as an example of what young people can do when given the right opportunities. In fact, New Era has donated two ACER Switch Tablet PCs and an XYZ 3D printer to the school so that they can have a dedicated resource as they prepare for their 2020 VEX title defence.”

Today’s students are tech savvy and quick to pick up new opportunities. “There are virtually no limits,” says Mr Ward. “We see STEM education as a passport to future success that is inclusive, non-judgemental and inspirational. And it’s not just for the boys. Girls make up about half of the Robotics group at any given time. Plus we get Year 3 students showing interest in joining as places open up. With the reward of a trip to America on the offing, we are having no problem what-so-ever in building momentum as we move forward.”

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