Robotics students at Hastings Secondary College are flying high after winning the Dual Down Under Robotics Competition.
Sixteen students from the Hastings Heroes 6508 team competed against 31 teams from around Australia.
The students travelled to Sydney to compete as part of an off-season event coordinated by Macquarie University.
This event allows teams to tweak or modify their robot to better perform the challenges and for them to implement succession planning by enabling students to try new roles before the season starts again in January.
Not only was the team part of the winning alliance, Hastings Heroes Team 6508 collected the prestigious award in 'Excellence in Robot Design'.
"Through their involvement in the FIRST® Robotics Competition and team 6508 Hastings Heroes; students learn valuable life skills like teamwork, collaboration, public speaking, technical science and engineering skills, Gracious Professionalism and more," said the competition's judges.
Year 9 student Natalie Barratt was one of the team's drivers and said it was a great competition.
"We had a very successful competition, coming 5th after completing 11 games in the preliminary rounds," Natalie said.
"We were then selected by the Blue Flamingo's (a team that we played within the finals of the Sydney Regionals this year) along with Normanhurst Boys High School with the reserve team being Purple Monkey Dishwashers.
"We made our way to the final, where we played against two of the best robots at the event. It was a very tight affair; we lost the first game but were able to win the second.
"This led to an incredibly tense tie-breaker which we narrowly won. It was a great feeling coming from behind to be part of the winning alliance".
Matilda Stewart Year 7 student said the addition of the college mascot was a real morale booster for all the teams.
"Our mascot's name is Steven because he is a Seagull," Matilda said.
"He also has a special singlet that has the Hastings Heroes Team 6508 logo on it. Everyone wanted to get photographs with our team mascot."
Julian Reed and Lucas Metcalf are data strategists on the robotics team and formed a key component to the team's win.
"Strategy and data collection is essential in choosing alliances and analysing the strengths of other teams," Julian said.
"We were using a data system from another team which they shared and would record the data of all teams and their performance onto an iPad which we downloaded before a match so we could provide teams members with insight into other teams and their strengths and weaknesses."
"The defence is a role where the bot doesn't score but stops the other team from scoring. So when it came to choosing other teams to be part of our alliance, this was a factor we analysed very carefully," Lucas said.
The team is now in the off season working on their skills for the next season which commences again in January 2020.
They are busily fundraising for next year's season to again compete in Sydney and hopefully overseas. They also held a showcase morning for members from the Rotary Club of Port Macquarie who have been generously supporting the team.
What else is making news?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.