• October 10, 2019 | Kerryn Schmidt

Here’s a short story about three young girls who showed tremendous resilience and grit.

Once upon a time there was a newly established robotics club and a bunch of very enthusiastic girls. They entered the serious World Robots Olympiad and this team of three young, determined ladies were placed third in their division. They worked all holiday in hopes of getting to the nationals, but got the news that they had been pipped at the post and were ranked twentieth and only the top 18 teams were to advance through to nationals. Fate smiled down on our intrepid three however and two teams dropped out of the nationals. So our band of three were suddenly headed for rAge at the Dome!

These girls put in their all. For two weeks solid, arriving at the robotics lab at 06:30 and staying until 16:30 in the afternoon. They even gave up time on the long-weekend to come and practise in the lab. Ranked 18 out of 18 they knew they had nothing to lose and they arrived at the nationals with their heads held high.

The girls were placed at a table with three teams that ended up in the top three of the competition - a daunting thought. The first round was very tough for our girls. They came to race with a ‘Volksie’ where the other competitors had Porsches. But they built and coded this ‘Volksie’ all on their own. They endured some ridicule and were even laughed at, but they didn’t give up. They struggled to score on the first round.  Yet their 40, was better than the many ‘zeros’. By the lunch break, the competition was taking its toll, but after a positive team talk and some strategising, the girls went back with smiles on their faces.

They were about to prove what true St Peter’s grit is! They listened to their coach, problem-solved and improvised. They improved their score at every round! By the end, they had almost doubled their regional score. They left the competition with their heads held high. They had not only, built and programmed their own robot (no help from interfering adults), but they had never given up. Our girls entered the competition ranked 18 (technically 20) out of 18 teams and they finished twelfth.

These three fine young ladies demonstrated exactly what we strive to achieve at St Peter’s.

Thank you, Sarah Diack, Khumo Mochela and Kyra Lancaster - you have made us proud!