We are Regional Champions!

Ferndown Students into UK Finals after becoming Regional Champions in International Robotics Competition

Ferndown Upper School students are celebrating after entering the South West Regional Final of this Year’s First Tech Challenge (FTC) Competition in Bristol.

The School’s Robotics club- fernDOWNLOAD, has two FTC teams- Hendecabots and Barry Bots and is currently composed of 11 girls and 2 boys in Year 9.

One team, the Barry Bots came 1st in the competition beating teams from as far Cornwall and Wales. Hendecabots got to the semi-final stage also an amazing achievement being a rookie team. Students were put through their paces by also presenting to a panel of FTC judges, robot inspections and field tests before taking part in the competition element.

FTC is an international robotics and digital engineering competition. In each season teams of students from around the world design, build and programme a robot that will take part in regional, national and if successful, international level competitions.

This year the competition is officially supported by Star Wars: Force for Change, it involves designing robots that work together to construct tall structures. FIRST is a robotics competition founded by inventor Dean Kamen. FIRST, an acronym for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is an international phenomenon. See https://www.firstuk.org for more details.

Both teams also won The Connect Award at the competition for the Outreach Community work they have completed to promote engineering in to middle school students.

Toby Osborne, Team Lead & Coach said: “The teams did us proud, we were up against more experienced and older teams and to come first is a testament to the students’ dedication to the club over the past four months. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank sponsors including Arm Holdings, MATA Construction (Ferndown), Repair Bay (Ferndown) and Dorset Council. Another big thanks to the staff and parents that have supported the teams so far.”

fernDOWNLOAD robotics was started in September to promote STEM to young people and in particular develop engineering and leadership skills of girls.

The teams now have qualified for the UK Finals held at the London Olympic Park in March. Here they will battle it out against other regional champions to try and gain places at the World Championships in Michigan, USA later this year.

If there are any companies or individuals willing and able to sponsor the teams for the National Championships or their STEM/Engineering outreach into the future please contact ferndownloadrobotics@fernup.dorset.sch.uk. This includes getting your company logos on team kit and the robots themselves on the national stage.

You can follow the teams’ progress on their club Twitter Feed: @ferndownrobots



fernDOWNLOAD | Extra-Curricular STEM & Outreach

Ferndown Upper School

Cherry Grove


BH22 9EY




© 2020 fernDOWNLOAD