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MIS pupils sweep the pool in national AquaBots contest

Masterton Intermediate School [MIS] teams were crowned first, second, and third in the intermediate section of the recent NZ AquaBots Nationals in Christchurch.

NZ AquaBots is a robotics programme for school-aged children in New Zealand that is designed to teach engineering concepts, problem-solving, teamwork, scientific communication, and technical applications.

MIS digital technology teacher Robyn Hamilton told the Times-Age that her students had to start work several months before the nationals, and much of it had to be done in their own time, including organising their own meetings.

The students also raised $2000 by selling ice creams once a week during lunchtime at school, with the money going towards the cost of competing at the nationals.

According to Hamilton, the weeks leading up to the nationals were dedicated to preparing a one-page fact sheet, a technical report, and a presentation.

“The technical report requirements were demanding, and they needed to include a lot of data,” Hamilton said.

Seth Pinkham from the first-place winning team – The Challengers – said that his team struggled a lot during the event leading up to the regionals and nationals.

“While I had no doubts during the regionals, I did have a lot at Nationals, specifically during prize giving. When the other two MIS teams were getting second and third place, I then thought, ‘There’s no way we are getting first place, we probably got fourth,’” Pinkham said.

While the three teams did not qualify to compete in America, Hamilton said she is proud of the students’ dedication and their resilience.

“I was very proud of the way they managed that, particularly because most of them were just year sevens,” she said.

“Quite often it was frustrating, so the fact that they kept on going and didn’t give up and they encouraged, supported, and helped each other was definitely noteworthy.”

First place overall in intermediate section:

The Challengers

Seth Pinkham, Robert Evans, Liam Morgan, Ryan Connell, and Noah Rees

Second place overall in intermediate section:

The Aquatics

Rose Hooper, Cyriss Ward, Leo Sykes, and Jackson Hunt

Third place overall in intermediate section:

The Super Bots

Julien Alexander-Evans, Ryan Cutfield, Brandon Eades, and Alby Rutherford.

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