Suffolk pupils head stateside

YOUNG engineers from a Suffolk school are set for a trip of a lifetime - and are off to America to take part in the World Festival of robotics.The team of budding technophiles from Trimley St Martin Primary's Young Engineers Club will be going to Atlanta later this month for the competition against 84 teams from all over the globe.

YOUNG engineers from a Suffolk school are set for a trip of a lifetime - and are off to America to take part in the World Festival of robotics.

The team of budding technophiles from Trimley St Martin Primary's Young Engineers Club will be going to Atlanta later this month for the competition against 84 teams from all over the globe.

They have raised quite a lot of the £10,000 cost and, having dug into their own pockets to make up the shortfall, are hoping to raise as much of the rest as they can over the next few months.

Club leader Derek Edwards said: “We decided we would make the commitment and go and replenish our funds when we get back - it's going to be something these children remember for a very long time, perhaps the rest of their lives, and I will, too!”

The fund was boosted by a £500 cheque from the Suffolk branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Mr Edwards said: “It's a very valuable and significant contribution and we are very grateful to them.

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“It was lovely to receive the money and also to be able to give the institute's representatives a demonstration of our robots in action.

“We have had various levels of donations to our appeal from large amounts from big businesses to £5s which youngsters have collected from their pocket money and we are grateful to everyone who has so generously given.”

The children were invited to Atlanta after becoming regional and national champions in the First Lego League Challenge.

In the robotics competition, the team beat all its rivals, also winning the Robot Performance award, which saw them triumph over some 400 other teams, the majority of which were high schools.

TSM Roboteam was judged on its research work and presentation, robot design and performance and team-working in the UK and Ireland final in Birmingham.

The theme was saving of energy resources and use of alternative energy. The team had to survey the use of energy at the school and recommend ways of conserving energy including possible future use of solar panels, wind turbines and even newer ideas.

Then they had to design, build and programme an advanced autonomous Lego robot and attachments capable of undertaking a series of complex tabletop missions, all on the theme of energy.

Isn't that a great achievement? Let us know if your school is up to anything special - call the Newsdesk on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk or write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk