DkIT Hosts VEX Robotics Final for Secondary Students

09 May 2019

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) hosted the Vex Robotics Final on Thursday 2nd May. More than 80 secondary students from 11 schools across the North East participated in the competition to battle their robotics projects.

VEX Robotics aims to introduce secondary school students to the world of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) by engaging them in a competition with their peers where they must build, code and drive a robot to carry out specific challenges. The participating students have been working on their VEX projects since the beginning of the academic year.

 Brendan Ryder; Head of Department of Visual and Human-Centred Computing noted;

It’s great to see how far some of these students have come on since the start of the projects, some of the participants began VEX with only a small interest in Computing or Human-Centred Visuals but have developed their skills and became increasingly engaged and interested in the field which is great to be a part of!”

Overall there were three opportunities for teams to win a prize. The Winning Alliance was made up of two teams: St Mary’s Dundalk & Our Lady’s Castleblaney.  Sacred Heart, Drogheda won the Judges Award and finally St Vincent’s, Dundalk took home the Design Award. 

Dr Philip Scanlon, Recruitment and Retention Officer and Assistant Lecturer in the School of Informatics & Creative Arts added,

Each team designed, built and programmed their robot and then competed in various technical and skills challenges both within an alliance and against other school teams which builds on communication and interpersonal skills.  Students are also exposed to a number of STEAM topics including in the design process and structural integrity, Law of the Lever, Centre of Gravity, turning motions and force, plus they learn computer coding languages.”

The School of Informatics and Creative Arts at DkIT has a long tradition of engaging with the wider community through the provision of our Outreach Programmes which include TY Weeks, Summer Camps and School Visits. The Robotics programme introduces students to wider topics in Computing and helps to engage students with varied scientific interests.

Cillian Watterson; 3rd year student from Dundalk Grammar School said;

It was great fun because it was challenging, I love working with practical elements like this so taking part in VEX was a definite yes for me.” 

His teammate Dominik Bayer added; 

We work really well together as a team so getting it done so quickly was no problem for us, you just need to stay calm and think strategically about solving any problems that occur, we both think the campus is great and we are both considering a future in Engineering although we have plenty of time left to decide!” 


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