Robotics - we are still outstanding!
GCA's ambitious robotics club runs more than 8 teams at any one time. Robotics started at GCA early in 2015 and teams have competed in the VEX IQ national and international competitions each season since then, with a superb track record of success.
Teams have become London, South East and UK National Champions in several categories. The school was crowned UK National Champions in 2015 and 2016. One of the teams that competed in the 2016 world finals in Kentucky, USA, finished 32nd for programming, the highest ever result for a UK school in this competition where highly experienced US and Japanese teams take most of the trophies. Our 2017 international final team took second UK place in Kentucky.
The 2017-18 season was particularly successful. Three teams qualified for the VEX IQ National Finals in March - Chromagicals (Y9), Valyrian Steel (Y8) and our all-girls Y7 team, GCA New Bots. In the final regional tournament Chromagicals and Valyrian Steel were crowned tournament champions for the fifth time in a row. Chromagicals were also awarded the prestigious VEX Robotics AMAZE award for the most reliable, consistent highest scoring and well engineered robot in the competition.Two teams qualified for the VRC National Finals - Tech Fusion and United Robot Squad.
In the 2018-19 season, five teams qualified for the National Finals:
VRC competitors (KS4 and above) – Chromagicals and GCA Roboteers
IQ Challenge competitors (KS3) – Enginettes, GCA Phoenix and Valyrian Steel.
As well as competing in the VRC challenge (the complex metal robots), GCA Roboteers acted as inspectors and umpires for the IQ Challenge. After checking all the competition robots were the right size and had all legal components, it was straight on to non-stop umpiring duties for two days.
Robot Skills Manager, Andy Merryweather, said, ‘It was great to have the sixth formers from GCA stay on after their own competition to help run the IQ event. I am pleased that the school encouraged them to take on a volunteer role and delighted that the students are willing and eager to do so.’
There were cheers during the presentation ceremony when it was announced that Mr Knappert had won the VEX ‘Teacher of the Year Award’.
If the 2019-20 season, six teams (3 IQ teams and 3 VRC teams) qualified for the National Finals in March 2020.
Going into the Nationals, the VRC teams could boast a collection of 29 awards, including seven tournament champion trophies.
The IQ teams had been equally successful throughout the qualifying rounds, amassing a total of 26 trophies including nine tournament championships. Two teams – Something Simple and ATORE – were amongst the consistently highest scoring teams in the country.
GCA Roboteers were crowned AMAZE and UK National Robot Skills Champions.
Chromagicals took a commendable second place in Robot Skills.
GCA Gearers took 3rd place in the IQ UK National Championships tournament.
Something Simple won an AMAZE trophy.
Three teams - GCA Gearers, GCA Roboteers and Chromagicals qualified for the international finals, which, unfortunately, were cancelled because of Covid.
In the 20-21 season, five teams qualified for the national and international finals, which were played via webcam.
GCA Gearers – Darius and Beatrice, 9LA – got the school off to a flying start when they won the first VEX IQ Robot Skills competition of the 20-21 season. They followed this with another win in the March regional heat, at the end of which they were classed 4th in the country on points. At that stage, they were already climbing high is the international ratings.
As at May 2021, GCA Gearers had won five out of their six competitions, having qualified early in the season for the world finals. The four new teams also developed their robots to a very competitive level, working to improve after each competition. Futuristics also qualified at an early stage. The Y7 teams reached the finals in four out of the five competitions they competed in and by the end of the heats, their skills ranking and performance had qualified them for the world finals. They competed at a very high level considering that this was their first year on the tournament circuit.
Haringey Council Outstanding for All Awards - The students who took part in the 2016 Kentucky finals were thrilled to receive the OfA Award for Achievement in STEM at the end of that year at Alexandra Palace. Their success was matched in November 2018 by our junior robotics teams who won the same award for the fantastic work they have been doing with primary schools.
We hope to restart our outreach programme with primary schools when Covid restrictions ease. Interested schools are asked to contact Mr Knappert , our STEM Lead.firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents - if your child is keen on robotics, you are both welcome to call in to talk to Mr Knappert and GCA's roboteers and to try out some robotics challenges. The best way to arrange this is to send an email to the address above. Alternatively, please call the school on 020 8609 0100 and our receptionist will make sure Mr Knappert gets your message.