In 2019 the Hedland Senior High School Pilbara Phoenix Robotics team competed in the 2018 Duel Down Under Robotics competition.

The small team of 11 students from Hedland Senior High School travelled to Sydney in July to compete in the national robotics competition held at Macquarie University.

The FIRST Australia Duel Down Under Robotics Competition aims to enrich students with project-based learning over the course of 6 months where the students are required to design, construct and program a robot capable of moving small cubes to various scales.

The Pilbara Phoenix robot battled it out against 38 other robots over the three day competition. During the competition the team overcame significant challenges including developing game strategies, robot troubleshooting and networking with other teams.


While the team did not make the finals, students were inspired and determined to create a better robot for future competitions.

Robotics teacher, Cameron Pilapil has praised the students for their determination and exemplary sportsmanship with other schools.

“We did not make it to the finals, however the students did not show any sign of defeat, as they were inspired and determine to improve and better themselves for next year’s competition,” he said.
“The students persevered through all challenges thrown at them which lead them to be declared the 2018 Duel Down Under Rookie All-Stars for their efforts and performance in the competition. We’re all really proud of them.”

Year 10 student Jed Marsden said the competition was one of the highlights of his year and encouraged anyone interested to join the team for the 2019 competition.

“It was amazing, a great experience to actually see all the teams compete and help each other regardless of whether the person was on their team or not,” Jed said.
“I think the highlight for myself would be at one point we had to completely strip apart our robot and we were able to put it back together better than before, that was a good accomplishment and felt good to succeed.”

Students said they learnt many valuable lessons while on their journey. This is what they had to say

“I learnt a lot of new skills and knowledge from the camp that will help me when i’m older, such as designing, teamwork, organising, pneumatics and skills to build a robot.” – Georgia Lantham


“I gained communication and leadership skills by talking to new people, being asked questions and receiving advice from other teams. Also being able to work and lead a team.” – Sophie Marlow



Robotics Club is not currently running but watch this space for updates on how to apply in the future.