Pupils from Hoddesdon travelled to America to take part in an international robot competition after being the only UK team to qualify.
The youngsters from John Warner School, in Hoddesdon, took part in the global event in California at the end of April after winning through heats in the UK.
The team came 67th out of 4,000 entrants in the contest, in which their robot had to collect and distribute 6ins balls and barrels around an 8ft square arena.
Teacher Stuart Higham said: “I knew that the teams had created very competitive robots, but at the event they demonstrated tactical and game-playing skills that surprised everyone.
“The experience of building robots over the last two years has increased the profile of engineering careers in school with several members of the teams applying for work experience in engineering. I am sure this is the start of some very successful engineering careers.
“One of the things that consistently impressed me was how much effort the kids were willing to put into the project. The team rose to the challenge, giving up lunch breaks and countless hours after school to build a competitive robot, and develop driving skills that seemed to surpass all but they could offer.”
Team member Daniel Rowe said: “Some of the challenges are more difficult than others. We should have gone further. The other teams had newer parts. We’ve got a good chance to go further next year.”
The team from John Warner have won eight trophies in just 18 months of competing with robots.