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Sheffield robotics students will make history at robot world finals - but need £10,000 to get there 

Alex OCarroll and Sofia Armitage are part of a team fundraising to go to Shanghi
Alex OCarroll and Sofia Armitage are part of a team fundraising to go to Shanghi

A team of talented children from Sheffield need to raise £10,000 to help them get to the final of a robotics world championship – where they will make history.

Six children impressed at the World Educational Robot Finals held at the University of Sheffield in July and secured a sought-after spot in the WER World Championships in December.

Alex OCarroll and Allen Yang show a judging panel their work

Alex OCarroll and Allen Yang show a judging panel their work

The contest is being held in Shanghai and the team the youngsters – Alex O’Carroll, Allen Yang, Sofia Armitage, Madeleine Sanderson, Jacob Sibanda and Kirin Harrington – will become the UK’s first ever representatives, but only if they raise enough money to get themselves there.

They want to raise £10,000 which would pay for the children, parents and a teacher to go to the event.

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They were brought together by Discovery STEM Education, a not-for-profit organisation based at Kelham Island Museum.

Kirin Harrington at the finals

Kirin Harrington at the finals

Dr Melissa Butt, founder of Discovery STEM education, said going to the final would be beneficial to the students and enable them to develop high level robitics skills from a young age.

“The UK has a shortage of individuals entering STEM careers,” she said.

“Those young people that have shown not only enthusiasm but also the commitment to develop their STEM skills should be afforded further opportunity.

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Jacob Sibandaand Kirin Harrington, right, with Lod Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid and other participants at the finals at the University of Sheffield in July

Jacob Sibandaand Kirin Harrington, right, with Lod Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid and other participants at the finals at the University of Sheffield in July

“Alex, Sofia, Allen, Madeleine, Jacob and Kirin were amongst the 50 UK children competing alongside 50 of the highest achieving Chinese children at Sheffield University in the first UK World Educational Robotic Contest in the summer of 2018.

“Their high scores gained them free entry tickets to the World Finals, where children from more than 60 other countries will compete.

“This will be the first time that the UK has been represented in this challenging robot engineering and coding contest.

“Let’s get off to a great start by fully supporting our teams to get there.

Alex OCarroll, Sofia Armitage and Allen Yang at the finals in Sheffield

Alex OCarroll, Sofia Armitage and Allen Yang at the finals in Sheffield

“They worked incredibly hard at training sessions leading up to the UK contest and are now working hard preparing for the finals at their weekly training sessions.”

Discovery STEM Education runs after-school clubs, holiday workshops and other activities to get more children interested in science, technology, engineering and maths.

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A live music event, featuring Nigel Clark from Dogody, has been organised at Wroot Village Hall, Doncaster, on Thursday, November 8.

Tickets are priced £10 and are available by emailing wrootrocks@gmail.com

Businesses who help fund the trip will be offered a sponsorship deal including logos on team t-shirts and website.

The team recently received £500 from Rolls Royce.

The youngsters members of the team have also raised several hundreds of pounds through fundraising.

To help support the team visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/supportyoungroboticuktalent

To find out more about the sponsorship opportunities email info@discoverystem.org.uk