A RIOT OF ROBOTS! - Primary schools from four counties take honours at VEX IQ Robotics competition
400 primary school children from across the region descended on Institute of Technology Carlow last Friday to participate in the VEX IQ Robotics competition.
The budding engineers had been preparing for the competition since last October and spent months building and enabling their own robots to participate in the competition, which was organised by the Institute’s Student Services and assisted by a team from the Faculty of Engineering, the Computing Services Department, Estates and the Sports Office.
Prizes were awarded to five schools on the day for the best robots and an accompanying STEAM poster competition with counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois and Kildare represented amongst the winners.
Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy took first prize in the Team Alliance Challenge. Kildare also took both prizes in the Driver Skills Challenge with St. Peter’s National School, Monastrevin and Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy awarded first and second place, respectively.
Scoil Bhríde Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny took home two prizes when they were awarded second place in both the Team Alliance Challenge and the STEAM art competition.
St. Brigid’s National School, Tullow was awarded first prize in the STEAM art competition while St. Fintan’s Boys School, Mountrath took third prize in the same category.
IT Carlow’s sports hall was a cacophony of air horns, chanting, clapping, cheering and lively commentary as the various schools took to the ‘arena’ at their allocated times. The participants were required to operate their robot, using both driver control and the autonomous programme they had written. Between sessions, the schools enjoyed a fun science demonstration and tour of the campus and enjoyed meeting academic staff from various faculties.
“Hosting the VEX IQ Robots competition at IT Carlow during Engineers Week was appropriate as we want to create a passion for STEM and a new generation of innovators. It was also gratifying to see so many girls participating in and engaged with the competition, particularly as it took place just ahead of International Women’s Day,” said David Denieffe, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Institute of Technology Carlow. “We congratulate all the schools and their hardworking teachers for their huge efforts. Seeing science and maths come to life outside the classroom, and engaging in engineering and coding, shows young people the enormous and exciting opportunities that lie ahead of them in STEM and we would love to see these young students return to Institute of Technology Carlow as undergraduates in a few years’ time”.