May 16th, 2023

From Tipperary to Dallas – Our young robotics heroes!

It was a great feeling to be able to play a small part in one young exciting groups chances of making it big on the world stage. Sixth class students from the Irish speaking school ‘Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan’ based in Nenagh, County Tipperary have just recently returned home from the Vex World Championship in Dallas, Texas, which took place from May 2nd  to May 4th, 2023.

After a successful Regional competition in Limerick, the team qualified for the National Finals in Cork. From there, the Tipperary-based geniuses qualified to go to Dallas to perform on the world stage at VEX.IQ, the international robotics programme and competition.

Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan pictured in Dallas

“This is a ground-breaking opportunity for us as no Irish primary school has previously participated in the World Championship. Over 250 schools in Ireland participated in the VEX robotics competition this year.” Said class teacher Orla McNamara.

Involvement from all

There was involvement from each member of the classmates in 6th class in the project in different capacities. The challenge was to build, program, code and drive the robot, document the progress, finance the project as well as producing a STEM research project. VEX encourages creativity, teamwork, leadership, independent and critical thinking, entrepreneurship and problem solving. Below is a breakdown how each of the teams participated on the journey.

The building team was tasked with constructing, modifying, and refining the robot’s design to maximize its functionality. Following this, the coders wrote the necessary code, enabling the robot to self-drive in autonomous mode. Meanwhile, the finance group handled tasks such as producing accounts, finding funding, and issuing receipts. Simultaneously, the engineering logbook team chronicled and documented the project from its inception. They achieved this with flow diagrams to investigate multiple solutions to problems raised.

The drivers control the robot during the matches and score points by releasing discs from many dispensers. Finally, the STEM research project team produced a video which investigated how mathematical patterns found in nature can be used to solve world problems.

Pictured above is our pioneering team in their Cashbook hats to keep them safe from the hot Texas sun. It was great to financially support these young heroes on their journey to Dallas and we are certain that this is not the last we will hear of this class! In addition if you would like to read more about this event, you can do so here.

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