Computer mad pupils at a Calne school, who designed a way to stop drains getting blocked, impressed the judges in the regional rounds of the national Lego contest.

The Year 6 team from St Margaret’s Preparatory School took part in the First LEGO League Challenge in Bristol and won a trophy as runners-up in the presentation section.

Head of Computing Mike Callahan said: “The enthusiasm and passion for the LEGO League Challenge from our pupils is one of the highlights of the year. We couldn’t keep them out of the Computer Suite working on this year’s challenge, which is hydro dynamics and all about water.”

The team invented a filter to act as a sieve to prevent unwanted debris from blocking drainage systems.

Mr Callahan said: “They devised surveys, developed and tested prototypes and contacted large organisations such as Wessex Water, Hills Recycling and Dyson for advice.

"The team of 10 presented exceptionally well, backing up their findings with hard scientific data and answering the judges’ questions really well. They were delighted to be awarded the runners-up trophy for their presentation.”

But then came disappointment when, at the quarter final stages of the robotics missions section of the contest, the robot’s battery stopped working and it ground to a halt.

Mr Callahan said: “We are extremely proud of the team’s efforts in all aspects of the Lego League Challenge. Whilst it was a cruel twist of fate that meant that we didn’t have the opportunity to progress further in the robotics side of the competition, it was none-the-less a valuable life lesson for our pupils and one which they appear to be taking very well.

"They could not have performed better on the day and the trophy for the presentation was very much deserved and appreciated.”