Five technology teams from Scoil Chríost Rí Portlaoise took their handmade electronic robots to the EXCITED 2016 digital learning festival in Dublin Castle last week, to pit them against other schools in a sumo battle at the national final of EA Robotics.
While the twenty girls did not win the sumo battles, they took home the 'Best Supporters' award, thanks to big cutouts and banners made by the TY art department.
Technology teacher Graham Lalor is proud of his students, particularly as many other schools relied on 3D printers and laser cutters to build their robots.
“It shows how good our girls were, it was a great achievement. The girls had worked all year, first designing their robots, then building paper models, then making them using craft skills, wiring the electronics and learning how to build circuits, and finally programming them. Particularly as only three of the girls studied Technology as a subject before TY,” he said.
The project had valuable lessons not just in the areas of technology and engineering.
“They also learned teamwork and leadership. The benefits are brilliant,” he said, thanking teacher James Thompson for his help.
‘Excited 2016 - Celebrating Success and Sharing Innovation’, is Ireland's only Digital Learning Festival and brings together teachers, students, academics, policy makers and industry leaders to celebrate and showcase groundbreaking innovation in Irish education. Excited is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the largest competitive funder of science and innovation in Ireland, and takes place in Dublin Castle on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st of May. It will feature over 1,200 participants gathering to share their passion for enhancing learning through the use of technology. Above all, Excited 2016 will be fun, engaging and dare we say it....life affirming!
On Friday 21st the national finals of EA Robotics take place. Supported by EA Games, this unique competition pits rival robots from secondary schools throughout Ireland against one another. All participants, 40% of whom are girls, gain a deep understanding of programming and engineering in making their way to the national finals.