Robots Galore As Institute of Technology Carlow Hosts VEX IQ Challenge


Institute of Technology Carlow VEX Robots Competition for Primary SchoolsInstitute of Technology Carlow played host to the fun and exciting VEX IQ Challenge Robotics Competition which took place last week and was attended by 420 primary school children from 18 schools across six counties.

VEX Robotics is an engaging programme that facilitates school children between the ages of eight and 18 years to learn about STEM subjects. As part of the programme, students design, build and programme their own robot which they later use to compete against other school groups in the VEX IQ Challenge.

Last October, 18 primary schools from Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Kildare and Wexford received their own Robot Kit, which was funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Since this time, each participating school has been building and programming their robot in preparation for Institute of Technology Carlow’s VEX IQ Challenge Event, which was run in association with sponsors MSD and Autolaunch Ltd.

By its nature, the study of robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM. VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed from the ground up to provide an opportunity to future engineers of all skill levels to engage and learn. By packaging advanced concepts into an accessible package, the system also encourages the students to acquire skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and leadership.

Six schools were awarded prizes for their design and skill during the fun-filled day. The winning schools in the Vex IQ Challenge Robotics competition were Green Road N.S. in Carlow and St. Finian’s National School, Muine Bheag. Runners-up were Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy and Gaelscoil Eoghan Ui Thuairisc, Ceatharlach. St. Fiach’s National School, Graiguecullen won the STEAM poster competition and Leighlinbridge National School, Carlow was runner-up.

“The importance of the VEX IQ Challenge cannot be underestimated in terms of encouraging primary school children to become involved in fun activities that may nurture an interest in going to college. We ran the VEX IQ robotics event at Institute of Technology Carlow as part of our Access strategy. 420 primary school children from 18 schools across six counties participated on 8th March. There was lots of energy and fun and we would like to thank our staff and student volunteers for making this happen, and to MSD Carlow and Autolaunch Ltd Bagenalstown for their sponsorship”, said Rosemary Flynn, Head of Learner Support and Student Services, Institute of Technology Carlow.

David Denieffe, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Registrar at Institute of Technology Carlow said, “We have received hugely positive feedback about the Vex IQ Challenge from teachers, students, our volunteers, and sponsors, and would like to thank all involved in this excellent Access initiative.