Welwyn Garden City parents fundraise to help girls get to world championship

PUBLISHED: 10:31 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 20 March 2017

Emily Duffy and Beth Thomas, from Welwyn Garden City, are to represent the UK in a World Championship Robotics final in the USA next month. Photo Credit: Peter Simpson.

Emily Duffy and Beth Thomas, from Welwyn Garden City, are to represent the UK in a World Championship Robotics final in the USA next month. Photo Credit: Peter Simpson.

Peter Simpson Hemel Hempstead Herts 07774 423434

Two young Welwyn Garden City girls are to represent the UK in a World Championship Robotics final in America next month, if they can raise the funds to get there.

Friends Emily Duffy, nine, and Beth Thomas, eight, who attend Holy Family School will be the youngest competitors among 500 other competing teams from all over the world.

The two primary school pupils are hoping their 15-inch high Robot, Roy, which they built from scratch will help them to walk away with the Champions of the World title at the Vex Robotics World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, in April.

The girls’ parents are desperate to raise £5,000 to cover their travelling costs and entrance fee.

They have set up a crowd funding page and are hoping that businesses in the area will donate to back them.

The youngsters have already won a total of seven awards in UK regional and national contests.

It was the victory in the excellence award at the National Finals last week, which gave them the opportunity to represent the UK in America.

They have formed a team called WGCMicrobots and have their own twitter account @wgcmicrobots, handled by their dads, to chart their progress.

Emily’s dad Andrew said: “Emily and Beth will be the youngest competitors there by some way but it is a fantastic opportunity to expose them to this new and emerging technology.

“We don’t have a lot for time to raise the sponsorship but this is a good cause for these two young ladies.

“The tournaments consist of skills challenges which involve manually operating the robot in a grid area, as well as automatically programming it so it picks up three, three-inch balls, shooting them into a scoring zone, as well as manoeuvring up a ramp in a timed challenge.”

Andrew, who is head of design and technology at Henrietta Barnett School, said: “It is a fantastic advertisement for girls in engineering.

“It has given them a good grounding in science, technology and maths.”

Beth’s mum Michelle added: “Both girls are enjoying doing this project and are delighted at how much they have achieved in a short time.

“The contest itself is also aimed at encouraging youngsters, particularly girls, to perhaps look at a career in engineering in later life.

“There is no reason why girls as young as this cannot do this and obviously we are all proud of both girls.”

Emily said: “I am very excited and keeping my fingers crossed that Roy will do well at the contest.

“We still have a lot of practising to do.”

Beth added: “I could not believe we will be going to America with Roy and we shall be making sure he is at his best for the contest.”

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/WGCmicrobots?utm_id=60&utm_term=jmgde3X2e

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