Students developed a new passion for engineering when they spent the day building robots.
Pupils worked together in teams and made their creations come to life in the event at High Tunstall College of Science, in Hartlepool.
It was led by technology teacher Jonathan Turner and is part of a major new programme by the school to promote engineering to both boys and girls.
Mr Turner said: “There is quite a big engineering gap in the region so this is the start of an engineering programme we are looking to run to encourage girls and boys to follow engineering career paths.”
The event was run in association with international company Vex Robotics which makes the kits and representatives from North East training company Go Ahead Training.
A total of 36 pupils from school years 7 to 10 worked in small mixed groups to build a robot from scratch.
They all had a fully functioning robot by dinner timeTeacher Jonathan Turner
They then made them move by remote control and used computers to programme them.
Mr Turner added: “It was the first time quite a lot of the students had done anything like that before.
“Almost half of those who took part were girls which was great to see as getting girls interested in engineering is one of the big things we are promoting.
“It just proves how simple it is. They all had a fully functioning robot by dinner time.
“They just loved it.” Mr Turner has been introducing pupils to robotics in an after school club he runs for gifted and talented students.
It is part of the school’s overall Science Technology and Maths (STEM) programme which also included last week’s visit by Britain’s first female astronaut Helen Sharman.
Mr Turner’s STEM Club will put its robotics skills to the test soon in a regional competition with potential to progress to national and international level.