Robot comes through in transatlantic battle

ROOKIE robot builders from a school in Hoddesdon surprised their stateside competitors when they were runners-up in a transatlantic tournament.

The John Warner robotic team, pictured at the qualifying competition in England, with their robot. The students from the John Warner School were taking part in the 80-team Vex Robotic event at the University of South California.

In the competition, the robots were given a series of tasks to perform, with the school taking the runner’s up position  – the best-ever finish by a UK team in the US.

Students Jack Eggenton, Michael Gill, Daniel Rowe, Olivia Blake, Emma Rejniak and Javan Willcock were accompanied by teacher Stuart Higham and team mentor George Davies of Stevenage firm MBDA.

Mr Higham, subject leader for engineering, said: “Our students were great ambassadors for both the school and the UK and I am extremely proud of them and their achievements.

“Coming second to schools that play robots like we play football is a remarkable triumph and, of course, coming second to a team sponsored by the US Navy shows just how much perseverance and hard work can pay off.”

“I would like to pay my special thanks to the Rotary Club for its sponsorship, Russell Ball who arranged the trip and Alan Fuller at MBDA.”

Students will be returning to the USA later this year after Brandon Minichiello and Jake Stinson won a county-wide competition to compete in a Robot Rumble event.


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