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Pupils rise to the Challenge in Science and Technology days

Switched-on students from local secondary schools spent the day at Havering Sixth Form College taking part in the regional North East London Science and Technology Challenge.

The Year 8 and 9 pupils from 11 schools including Albany, Brittons, Redden Court, Royal Liberty, Sacred Heart, Coopers, Brentwood School, Sydney Russell, Gable Hall, All Saints and Dagenham Park spent either Thursday 29th or Friday 30th June working together in mixed teams of four to complete practical challenges.

The Robotics Challenge involved the latest Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots where each robot is equipped with infra-red and light sensors, which are used to direct the robot to avoid obstacles. The students learnt how to design, build and then programme the robots to complete the challenge.

The E-FIT Challenge involved pupils witnessing a simulated crime being committed, then using E-FIT software to construct a computer image of the culprit.

The Vehicle Challenge gave pupils the chance to design and construct simple electric vehicles from kit pieces which were pitted against each other in a final race.

The Medical Challenge had pupils trying to diagnose conditions and illnesses through mystery clues and question and answer sessions.

The days raise enthusiasm for STEM subjects and encourage young people to consider studying them further. Each activity is designed to develop skills that will be needed in the workplace, with marks being awarded for planning, team work and the finished product.

Winners of the Thursday Challenge Day were William Talwar and Joshua George from Coopers Coborn in Upminster, working with Sophie Kearney and Zyrrah Olise from Sacred Heart of Mary School, Upminster. They were presented with trophies by special guest, Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Mark Bryant.

Winners of the Friday Challenge Day were a team of three: Daisy Gentry and Sarah Adeya from Brittons School in Rainham working with Morgan O’Sullivan from Brentwood School. They were presented with trophies by the Mayor of Havering, Cllr Linda Van den Hende, who told the students that engineering and technology is the future and that it was so encouraging to see them all sharing ideas and working as teams.

The winning teams will now go on to represent the area in the Regional Finals which are held at Queen Mary University, London.