News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Six students from Ralph Allen School in Bath are currently competing in the International Lego Robotics finals in Hungary.

Competing under the team name L20, the pupils – Alister and Joshua Guenther, Monty Burrows, Ben Kile, Luther Gaines-White and Fraser Samuels – are competing in the First Lego League tournament – a worldwide competition in which 32,000 teams have to design, build and program a Lego robot, research and present a solution to a real world problem, and develop teamwork and relations with other competitors.

Writing about their impressive feat, the team explained, ‘After competing in the regionals in Bristol, and the UK and Ireland finals, we have been awarded with the opportunity to represent UK and Ireland in the International Championship. The event will be held in Debrecen, Hungary. This season we have earned five first place trophies, four of which are for our robot, which gives us the title of having the best robot in the UK.

‘Unfortunately, it is very costly to compete in Debrecen as we have to pay for all of our travel, accommodation and registration fees, which would total around £6,000. To raise money so far we have launched a crowd funding campaign and we have been sponsored by STEM companies such as Airbus and Dyson. However, we have been unable to accumulate the full amount of money and we have yet to raise £4,000 more. Any contributions, however small, would be greatly appreciated and would help the team out a lot.’

John Chantry, Deputy Headteacher at Ralph Allen, said, “The team wanted to put everything into it this year as the older boys may be too old to take part next year. Ben has supported me in running our Lego robotics club every week.

“Alister and Joshua have entered the competition for the last five years and some of the others have also entered multiple times. This in itself is a fine example of resilience and it is great to see their efforts rewarded.”

During the year, the team have been corresponding with Stanford University regarding a robotic worm… The team took that idea, together with sensors and fast setting concrete, to come out with a solution to repair leaks in water pipes. The team have presented their idea to Wessex Water.

Doug Mason, a Ralph Allen parent who has mentored the team, explained, “This year the boys have shown great resilience, teamwork, communication skills and the ability to organise themselves. They have also demonstrated the core values of co-opetition and gracious professionalism.”

The school entered three teams in the Lego robotics competition this year. Sadly the girls-only team did not make it through to the regional round. The mixed team did, however, but did not progress to the nationals.

For more information about the team, click here