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Nothing to ‘vex' 5th class students of Bandonbridge

February 26th, 2019 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Overall winners Andrea Glavin jumps with joy, with fellow classmates of Bandon Bridge National School at the Dell EMC VEX Robotics finals. (Photo: Clare Keogh)

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‘IT’S not surprising that VEX became a 5th class favourite class,’ said a delighted Sam Ross, teacher at Bandonbridge National School, following their double award win at  the Dell EMC VEX IQ Robotics national competition.

The tech-savvy students won the ‘Excellence Award’ for the second year running and retained their title of national champions in last week’s competition in CIT. They also won the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) Research Project Awards in the robot design competition designed for primary- school age children

Sam said he is thrilled that this talented group of students came home with the top award. ‘They deserve credit for their ambition and diligence in completing an outstanding project which came out top of 131 schools. But before any awards were won I saw the fantastic impact this project has had on all my students,’ said Sam.

‘They were captivated from the start by the challenge laid out in VEX and it became their favourite class and if they could do it every day they would!’

He said that his students received a fantastic exposure to science, technology, engineering and maths.

‘They didn’t realise how much they were learning in the fun of it all. I would heartily recommend this project to any 5th or 6th class teacher looking for ways to inspire their students to explore STEM. I also want to thank Dell EMC for their tireless efforts in organising and facilitating the competition again this year for the benefit of Irish primary school students.’

Sam added that the competition is much more than solely building a robot to complete specific challenges on a game area.

‘The build team designed and built the robot in October and spent four months modifying it to make it easier for the drivers to get more points in the game, while the STEM research team’s job was to conduct research on how maths can be used to solve challenges in everyday life. They made a stop-motion video entitled Maths at My Dream Birthday Party, which scooped the top Research Project award,’ added Sam.

He also praised the publicity and communications team who organised a cake sale to raise money for their project, as well as updating a weekly blog on their progression. Other teams involved in the project included the programming team, engineering logbook team and the drivers of the robot who all made their win possible.

Meanwhile, the students of Knockavilla National School were also celebrating after winning the Amaze Award for the robust design of their robot.

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