Swanmore's robotic win!

Portsmouth school launches postcard art project

Bright young students have reigned victorious at the regional heats of a tough robot design competition.

The young boys and girls from Swanmore College of Technology won against 13 other teams at the regional round of the Lego Mindstorms competition.

They are all members of the Meon Valley school's Science Technology Engineering and Maths (Stem) club, and were judged to be overall best across four categories including designing and programming robots using Lego pieces.

Jonathan Heaps, 14, a member of Swanmore's Big Red Button team, said: 'I thought that the competition was challenging, especially as the other teams had very good robots and programs.

'I was really pleased that we won as we weren't expecting the win. I enjoyed just being there and being with my friends, watching the competition and taking part in it as well.'

His colleague Ethan Bunce, 12, added: 'The competition was very tough, as the other teams had very good robots and programs. The standard of teams has improved since last year and is very high.

'I was happy just to be there and take part, but winning made me ecstatic seeing as we were not expecting the win.'

The competition, which took place at InTech science centre in Winchester, tested the youngsters' team work, research into medical problems like lung cancer, and problem-solving with the use of robots.

Headteacher Annette Hillier said: 'We are extremely proud of the superb achievement of our winning team.

'Swanmore College has embraced the problem solving and applied design process associated with technology and engineering and all our pupils, staff and helpers associated with the Stem Club are very passionate advocates for these ventures.

'These pupils are worthy recipients of this success and we wish them all the best for the National Competition.'

The Big Red Button won a trophy and has been placed in the national finals at Loughborough University on January 22. If they win they will go on to compete in the International Finals in America.