HUNDREDS of primary school children from across the region descended on IT Carlow recently to participate in the VEX IQ Robotics competition.
A team from St Brigid’s National School, Tullow was among the winners, taking first prize in the STEAM art competition.
Prizes were presented to five schools for the best robots and an accompanying STEAM poster competition, with counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois and Kildare represented among 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.
The 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.
The event 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.
“We congratulate all the schools and their hardworking teachers for their huge efforts,” said David Denieffe, vice-president for academic affairs. “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. We would love to see these young students return to IT Carlow as undergraduates in a few years’ time.”