SCHOOLS:

Laois primary school wins prize in robot competition

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois primary school wins prize in robot competition

St. Fintan’s Boys School, Mountrath celebrate at the VEX IQ Robotics competition in Carlow IT

A Laois primary school has been awarded at the exciting VEX IQ Robotics competition in the Institute of Technology Carlow.

400 primary school children from across the region descended on IT Carlow last Friday to participate in the VEX IQ Robotics competition.

And St Fintan’s Boys School, Mountrath was one amongst the winners on the day, taking home third prize in the STEAM art competition.

Prizes were presented 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. 

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.

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, Monasterevin 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.

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”.