Students watch the robot creations battle it out at the 2017 Analog Devices Primary School Robotics competition - below, winners Kyle Molloy, Ally Griffin, Ali Gardiner, Kate O’Riordan Leo McHugh
ONCE upon a time, children would have dreamed about building and battling robots – and calling it education.
But now it’s a reality, as more than 60 primary school students learned this past weekend, when they pitted their creations against each other at the Analog Devices Primary School Robotics competition, which took place in Mungret College.
Teams from 20 schools across Limerick city and county participated in the day-long competition on June 10, which was organised by Analog Devices for the third year in a row.
After a day of engineering and battling, sixth class pupils Ali Gardiner, Ally Griffin and Kyle Molloy from Janesboro’s Our Lady Queen of Peace primary school were crowned the 2017 Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Champions.
“It’s a huge boost to the entire school community. They’re a great example to their classmates,” said principal of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Michael Ryan.
“There was huge excitement. They will soon go on to secondary school. Hopefully they will go on to third level, and perhaps they might study engineering.
“This competition is about creativity and building, and they are all very bright, intelligent young people. It would be my wish to see them go on and carve out very successful careers for themselves,” added Mr Ryan.
The aim of the competition is to promote Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) by encouraging and promoting teamwork as well as the learning of STEM principles in a fun environment.
“It was great to see so many school children excited about building robots. This competition helps demonstrate the importance of collaboration and teamwork to accomplish goals,” said Leo McHugh, vice president of Instrumentation Products for Analog Devices.
“I hope the skills they have learned today and the enjoyment from utilising those skills will encourage them to explore all things science, technology, engineering and maths related,” added Mr McHugh.
Working in teams, the students first participated in an advanced robotics workshop during which they designed and built their own innovative robots for a sumo wrestling style competition.
The teams then pitted their robots against each other in a series of tense and exciting elimination rounds in the competitive finale.