Two Kildare primary schools win at VEX IQ Robotics competition

Competition held at IT Carlow

Kim O'Leary

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Kim O'Leary

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news@leinsterleader.ie

Two Kildare primary schools win at VEX IQ Robotics competition

Luke Fanning from Scoil Padraig Naofa with Rosemary Flynn, Head of Student Services at IT Carlow. Luke accepted 2nd prize in the Driver Skills Change

Two Kildare primary schools have won at the VEX IQ Robotics competition which was held at IT Carlow last Friday.

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

Both Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy and St. Peter’s National School, Monasterevin were awarded first and second place respectively in the Driver Skills Challenge. In addition, Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy took first prize in the Team Alliance Challenge.

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.

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”.