It may look like an ordinary tennis ball to you and I – but to them it was a radioactive meteorite that they had to carefully extract from a plastic box with a robotic arm.
That’s because these students were taking part in a technology tournament hosted by the Hemel Hempstead Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Berkhamsted Bulbourne for schoolchildren across the Dacorum area.
The competition was split into three sections – foundation level for 11 to 14-year-olds, intermediate for 15 to 16-year-olds and advanced for sixth-formers.
They were marked on how well they were able to pick up the ball and how closely they could get it to the centre of a nearby target.
The youngsters were also assessed on how well they planned, designed and developed their mechanical arm – which they had less than four hours to create.
Event organiser Bryan Franklin said: “Two of the chaps in our associated clubs made this grab arm first of all to make sure it could be done. It took them hours, so all of the youngsters did exceptionally well.
“The less complex the designs seem to have worked better than the more complex ones.
“It was a very good experience for them and they all thoroughly enjoyed it, so it was a very successful tournament.”
Tring School won the foundation contest, Hemel Hempstead’s Abbot’s Hill School won the intermediate one and Hemel Hempstead’s JFK School won in the advanced level.
The event was held in Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns School on Thursday.