Robotics work wins Guides a place in UK final

1st and 2nd Morpeth Guides, from left, Sophia Dorin, Frances Pirt and Alice Pirt.
1st and 2nd Morpeth Guides, from left, Sophia Dorin, Frances Pirt and Alice Pirt.

A group of youngsters from Morpeth will fly the flag for Girlguiding North East in the finals of the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge after winning a special regional heat.

The Guides, who are aged 10 to 14, designed, built and programmed robots with LEGO Mindstorm and then went head-to-head with units from across the region.

4th Morpeth Guides, from left, Eva Smith, Alice Woolhead, Amelia Lamb and Eleanor Lamb.

4th Morpeth Guides, from left, Eva Smith, Alice Woolhead, Amelia Lamb and Eleanor Lamb.

They will now join other winners from across the country and compete in the UK final at The Big Bang Fair tomorrow (Friday).

Girlguiding North East has teamed up with the Reece Foundation and EngineeringUK for a two-year project, which includes this competition, that aims to inspire more girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Teams from 4th Morpeth and 1st and 2nd Morpeth Guides competed in the heat and will now join together when they take part in the Big Bang UK final.

Guide leader Megan Robb said: “It has been a fantastic experience for the whole unit and we are so proud of the teams for their hard work and commitment.

“We started from scratch, with very little knowledge about robotics, but they have thrown themselves into it with so much enthusiasm.

“You can see from their faces how much they have enjoyed it and it has been brilliant to see them grow in confidence.

“Everyone is now very excited about the UK final.”

All of the 200 Guides taking part in the event, which involves a speed challenge and a humanitarian mission with the RAF, will receive a new Robotics Challenge badge – reflecting Girlguiding’s commitment to developing the skills relevant to today’s young women.

Reece Foundation chairman Anne Reece said: “By giving girls the opportunity to get involved with fun STEM activities at an early age and work with female engineers, we hope to ignite that spark of enthusiasm that will encourage them to find out more about careers in these areas.”