November 29, 2019

Year 9 STEM competition

A team of Year 9 boys recently took part in the Subsea STEM regional competition at the Port of Blyth.

Competing against many other schools, their task was to design, build, programme and pitch an underwater robot capable of removing plastic waste from the ocean.

The robot was built using the LEGO Mindstorm system and programmed with software installed on an iPad. They built it with sensors capable of detecting colours, ultrasound and touch. It had to be able to follow a pathway along a map when demonstrating the robot to the judging panel. The marketing side of the team branded the robot the Plastic Pursuer and designed a promotional advertisement and Dragon’s Den style pitch for the product.

During the day, the boys had the opportunity to take a tour of the facilities and see how these underwater robots are built right here in the north east. It was inspiring to understand how they work to lay electricity cables to bring offshore energy from the wind farms to our power grid. From speaking to those who work there, it was great to see that our region is such a hub for green technologies and the career opportunities this can bring for local young people.