While most people were fast asleep across Sydney, Pranav Alavandi, Deen Essop, Rohit Ghosh, Henok Hailu, Minh Ho, Farhan Khan, Finley Phan, Evan Lee, Ervin Liang and Andrew Timkov were wide awake competing in a robotics tournament run by NASA.

A team of coders from Sydney Technical High School (Bexley) impressed during the competition after meeting at the University of Sydney during the early hours of Friday morning.

Code written by the students was used to move robots inside the International Space Station (ISS).

The Sydney Technical High School team had to race against other teams, from around the globe, while completing set tasks with their basketball-sized robot.

The finals event was reserved for the best 42 schools on the planet, following months of preliminary rounds in the 2017/18 Zero Robotics High School Tournament.

Sydney Technical High worked alongside two other schools from the USA and Italy as part of an alliance. Their alliance made the semifinal of the competition but were beaten one step short of the final.

Sydney Technical High School student Rohit Ghosh, 15, took part and said it was a brilliant experience, despite having to stay awake through the night.

“The best part would probably have been seeing our code finally being tested in real life and seeing our code being used in the International Space Station – it was quite a weird feeling, it was great actually.”

He said they worked a lot with their Italian and American team mates in the lead-up to the finals. “We tried our best to help out the Italians and Americans.”

Other schools from NSW which made the finals this year included Gosford High School, James Ruse Agricultural High School, Mosman High School and Sydney Boys High School.

The competition was organised by NASA and top, tech-university Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

This year 57 students and four staff will be going to NASA over the school holidays between Term 1 and Term 2.

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