Tauranga's House of Science robotics team scooped five awards at the VEX Robotics National Championships last weekend and qualified for the World Championships in Kentucky in April.

Dean Strydom and Jesse Gommans, from Team 8757, won the Build award, as well as being division finalists and runners-up in robot skills.

House of Science also won the community award, in recognition of the work done in making VEX and VEX IQ robotics available to schools and students in Western Bay of Plenty through classroom kits, holiday programs, and a robotics club.

Shane de Rijk won the Mentor of the Year award, for his support to the House of Science team over its first season.

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Having qualified for the world champs, the team is now fundraising to attend this event which will see more than 800 teams from around the globe compete for the world title.

The national championships were held in Manukau and saw more than 70 teams from around the country competing.

The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. The VEX program in New Zealand is supported by companies including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and SMC.

- The House of Science Tauranga is a charitable trust which exists to connect and resource the local science community to enrich science education and increase the number and quality of students engaged in secondary school science. Contact Chris Duggan on (027) 337 9342 for any more information.