22nd July 2022
Students from SGS Berkeley Green UTC came 3rd in the regional First Tech UK’s, Freight Frenzy Challenge. This national competition challenged students to build robots and compete against other schools. The task this year involved robots picking up items such as rubber ducks and balls and placing them accurately on different levels in the fastest time.
In 2021 Raytheon UK gave a highly engaging talk to UTC students during Careers Week. Following this, Raytheon UK approached the UTC and offered funding and mentoring support for a group of 13 students to compete in First Tech UK’s national competition. The opportunity was seized by the UTC and allowed their students to utilise their technical skills acquired from the STEM focused curriculum.
“Through the STEM work that Raytheon UK undertakes, I was fortunate to be able to help mentor a brilliant team, from Berkeley Green UTC, with their entry to the First Tech Challenge. I was really impressed with the range of new ideas they all had, their problem solving skills and how they worked really effectively as a team. In the competition they performed well under pressure and I think the end result is a testament to all the hard work they put in.” Joss, Software Engineer, Raytheon UK
Fortnightly sessions were allocated to the team of robotic enthusiasts and with Raytheon UK employees mentoring the students on technical and soft skills, which led to the team’s outstanding success in their first competition entry.
The UTC, based in Gloucestershire, specialises in Engineering and Digital studies for 14-19 year olds. As well as designing and building the robot, the Engineering students used their CAD and CAM expertise to design and 3D print parts, as well as their machining skills to customise metal fixings on the milling machines. Digital students worked on code that would allow the robot to operate. These talented students also programmed an autonomous driving element to the robot enabling it to self-park.
Paul Shaddick, a digital teacher from the UTC, attended the competition at RAF Cosford with the students and commented, “We had a great day together, following on from months of working as a team, and couldn’t be happier with the result.”