New Sponsor!

I would like to say a big thank you to three groups who, today, made the decision to join us on our adventure and help fund 3116C in their upcoming VEX World Championship competition.

The VEX robotics competitions help encourage students to actively engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – all skills which will help shape the future of Britain as well as giving the students the tools they need to become successful Engineers in the future.

It is great to see that we can form relationships between business and young people through common interest and our enthusiasm for shaping the world around us.

Thank you;

Phil Mayo, Premiere EDA Solutions

Gareth Humphries, MBD.A systems

Barbara Cordina, Broxbourne U3A

Premier EDA logo large




VEX UK National

Congratulations to Team 3116C who have qualified for the World Championships in Anaheim on the 17th April! The team worked tirelessly and deserve all the success they have had in the last 6 months. They have taken on older students and much more established teams and still come away successful.

Well done to 3116A who were knocked out at the semi-final stage against 3116C, someone had to miss out unfortunately. The biggest commiserations to 3116 and 3116A who had to wait an hour for the final instalment of their semi-final having missed out in the 2nd round by just two points!

To then wait so long whilst your opponent rebuilt their robot and have the patience to do so deserves an award all by itself. I hope they thanked you for waiting so long and maybe next year we will get some of their luck.

Well done Virus for being so gracious in victory and good luck at the Worlds, lets show them what UK engineering is all about!




VEX National championship – ExCel London

Up at 5:30 this morning and on the road by 7:30 to arrive at the ExCel arena, London just after 9:00 with our four teams.

The pitch looks good this year, much larger than last year and the tournament has grown considerably. Some new faces and lots of familiar ones to. The teams quickly get back into the swing of things and we are unto the pitches for qualification before we know it.

All teams look competitive and make good starts to the day with 100% records but inevitably two of the teams are matched together and the unbeaten run comes to an end for 3116B. not long after a technical issue means 3116 losses their first match and 3116C lose out in a very closely fought match. 3116A remains unbeaten but have somehow managed two draws!

As the days competition draws to a close, all four John Warner Teams are in the top 10 – the schedule is uneven for the day but the best we can make out is that we are in 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th places. Not a bad start and with out a couple of minor issues 3116 may well have been top.

Cheshunt school have overcome some early issues to place in the top three and East Barnet have a strong team with Virus doing well with a similar design to Cheshunt and Polaris doing well.

The highlight of the day was a visit by Prince Andrew who took a keen interest in the game and the work the students have  done. Brandon got to have a quick “chat”.

Prince Andrew VEX


VEX West of England Regional

An early morning and a long drive all the way to the West of England saw Team Control Freaks competing in this seasons West of England Sack Attack, held at the University of the West of England in Bristol.

A long delay on the M25 (45 minutes!) saw us struggle to make the event on time but we just managed to be on the field and ready for the first practice matches at 10:00am. All four teams had strong robot and aside from 3116 which was still undergoing a few teething problems, all robots made a successful start to the campaign.

Matches came and went quickly whilst the teams fiddled with various autonomous set ups and by the end of the morning qualification matches, 3116C with Ben Dance were top of the 11 team league. 3116B with Lewis Daniels driving were in a close 3rd and Charlie Blay and Jake Stinson had driven 3116A into 4th position. Dan Rowe had a few technical issues and only managed 10th after a few failures in the arena.

Through to the selection and for once the John Warner boys decided to stick together with a similar robotic pairing between 3116B & 3116C and likewise 3116A taking a brave decision to choose Dan’s beleaguered 3116 robot on the trust that all issues had been solved.

Both pairings made light weight of the semi-finals, even with a few stumbles along the way and the pairings faced off against each other in the final. The new boys made the best start, Dan once again suffering a few faults, and the 3116B & C partnership took the first round. A driving error by Lewis in the second leg opens the door for the other team and a nail biting conclusion sees 3116C & B take the final 96 – 95.

A further bonus is the new boys with 3116C also pick up the excellence award for a faultless performance throughout the day.

Lots of friendly fun and a big thank you to Jenny and Dave Smith for their help on the day and Jenny’s cakes!

Videos and pictures will be uploaded shortly here;

Pictures courtesy of Sophia Higlett


Robot Rumble IV

What a great end to a busy week!

Back from the USA on Tuesday and straight into another competition. A few late nights perfecting the robot (the boys named it Pratt-Tie!) and sorting out autonomous code seem to pay off. The team did brilliantly well winning the tournament overall without a single loss in any of the qualifiers or the finals and also gained the highest schedule points (similar to goal difference but much more complicated!) with 196 points!

We also received special mention from the judges for the design of the robot, their design work in the log book and also for the presentation with a big emphasis on how articulate Josh Clancy was. An added bonus was that Ben Dance walked away with the driver of the day award to boot.



How did we do?

A bit of a delay in this post due to some shaky access to wi-fi at the tournament but hopefully some of the tweets got through?

We had a tough start to the competition, first up in the REC league and we began like a whirlwind. Taking the 10 point autonomous points and having half-filled a trough and high goal in just over 30 seconds. Unfortunately that’s when our luck ran out, both red alliance team robots cut out simultaneously and the blues methodically de-scored all our points to take the win.

What had happened? A quick chat with the judges and it appears the arena had a technical fault and we may get to replay the first match but 0-1 for now.

Match two and we are looking strong, scoring autonomous again and taking 56 points from the match. Yet again, our partner robot fails to work and our single robot against two isn’t enough and we lose by just over 40 points. 0-2 and the boys are looking a bit disheartened.

Match three comes up quickly and this time we have a strong alliance partner and cruise to victory. Three more games come and go in quick succession and we take maximum points from all of them giving us a much better 4-2 win ratio. Things are looking up and we are floating around the top 10 of all the teams in our league. One more match to go in the qualifiers.

Our final game pitches us against fellow UK contenders, Stanborough. The game is a bit of a mis-match as their partner barely gets off the start line and we score almost at will. We now have 5 wins to 2 losses we have a potential rematch from round one.

The rematch goes ahead but the pitch fails again as well as our alliance partner going down as a no show. Our win ratio remains at 5-2. Then it all goes a bit weird! We are called to the judge’s stand and told that we have played too many matches! Sitting in the 8th and final qualifying spot, this potentially pushes us out of the tournament. We wait expectantly whilst the judges re-calculate the positions. Music plays around the arena and our boys join our US cousins in a rendition of Gangnam style to relieve the stress!

After a long wait, the decision goes in our favour and we are into the finals as 8th seed!

To our surprise, team 404, who are 3rd seed, like our robot and pick us up as alliance partner. We then go on to convince them to pick Stanborough to make a 3 strong alliance. Straight into the quarter finals and two straight wins puts us into the semi-final with ease. We soon get to the next stage but our partner 404 id having issues, a broken lift means only our robot is running properly and we lose by a large margin. A quick turn around and we are back in for round two. 404 are now barely running and against two great competitors, we are no match and sadly this year’s adventure is over.

(videos and pictures to follow)

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