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Semi-final here we come


Our first round of the Yr9/10 Epro-8 challenge was awesome! Having no previous experience with this competition, we came in with the small amount of information we managed to obtain from looking over the website.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a stand with our team name on it when we arrived at Papatoetoe High School and we promptly wandered over to it. We were presented with a rack of parts, the purpose of which we would discover later, to help us with our challenge. After about 15 minutes of exploring the parts, all the teams were called over to be given a brief explanation of the competition – then it was time to begin.

We had a booklet with 4 challenges in it, each with its own set of sub challenges to earn points. We were all eager to get started with our first objective, which was to build a bed. Not too hard right? It ended up taking longer than expected. Upon its completion we were awarded our first 50 points!

This put us into second, which was a hint of things to come. We continued working on challenges in this manner, assembling a complicated alarm system out of electronic parts. We hit what was to be a huge obstacle when one of the challenges – to put a snooze button on the alarm, turned out to be a big time problem.  It ended up being our hardest challenge, as it chewed 45 minutes of the total two and a half hours we had. And all for only 50 points. Oh well.

With 6 minutes on the clock, we were scrambling to try to complete one more challenge and earn some more points. It wasn’t to be, however, as a last-minute axle issue on our cart caused us to finish on 310 points. As the judge went around inspecting the creations for the last time and adding a few extra points, we held our breath in anticipation. We cheered at the prize-giving ceremony a few minutes later as our name was called out for second place! We qualified for the semi-final round, which is to be held August 16/17. Look out for us then!

Alex McGivern