St Patricks Boys National School students Fionn Ott, Odhran Yanto and Bruno Ulej were crowned the 2022 Analog Devices Primary School Robotics champions at the STEM-inspired challenge which took place in Limerick last weekend. Picture: Alan Place.
75 school children go to battle with self-designed robots
Over 75 primary school children went to battle with their self-designed sumo wrestling robots at the 7th annual Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Competition. Students from St Patricks Boys National School were crowned the 2022 Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Champions at the STEM-inspired challenge which took place in Limerick this weekend.
Teams of 10 to 12 year olds from 24 schools across Limerick City and County gathered in Analog Devices Campus in Raheen, Limerick early on Saturday morning to build and program their own robots before entering the ring and pitting their robotic creations against each other, sumo-style, that afternoon. Over 100 supporters cheered on the children during the highly competitive finale which awarded points for teamwork as well as design and innovation.
Fionn Ott, Bruno Ulej and Odhran Yanto from St Patrick’s Boys National School, Dublin Road, Limerick won the overall competition and Kristiana Suares, Ellie Mai O’Dell and Óran Conlon from Thomond Primary School were runners up.
The aim of the hugely popular event is to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) amongst primary school students by giving them a flavour of engineering through the opportunity to design, build, test and program their own robots. The children are encouraged to work as part of a team, express creativity, problem solve and have fun whilst at the same time learn key STEM principles.
Announcing the winners, Jim Nagle, Senior Director – Manufacturing, Analog Devices, said, “It was wonderful to witness the teamwork, creativity, energy and excitement amongst our young competitors. Our aim is to provide a fun and engaging hands-on learning experience that will encourage children to stay curious and enthusiastic for STEM subjects and the opportunities ahead. Everyone certainly seemed to have fun today.”
Ann O’Sullivan, Director – Process Development & Resilience, Analog Devices added, “The school’s robotics program is very important to us at Analog Devices. From feedback, we know it provides engagement on a level some schools may not have the means to access.This early experience of robotics design captures the imaginations of so many students. They are simultaneously getting an appreciation of STEM principles and problem-solving as well as a taste of the exciting challenges that a career in engineering could offer.”
Now in its seventh year, more than 4,900 students across Limerick city and country have participated in the Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Competition.
The first stage of the competition started months in advance when Analog Devices opened registration to all primary schools with more than 120 pupils in the Limerick city/county region. Each school that registered received a free Robotics workshop where 5th and 6th class students learn to build and program a robot using Lego WeDo kits. After building their robot in the classroom, each team competed against each other for the chance to represent their school in the Analog Devices Primary Schools Robotics Final Competition.
Finals day began with a more advanced robotics workshop to further develop and build on their learnings from the first round of classroom-based workshops. A new robot challenge was set which tasked the students to design and program a robot for sumo-wrestling. In the afternoon, each team played a series of matches in the pool stages with the top teams going forward to the tense and exciting play-offs where the final points were allocated. At the end of the showdown, the team with the highest points was crowned the overall winners.
Previous winners include Scoil Ide (2015), St Patrick’s Girls NS (2016), Our Lady Queen of Peace NS (2017), Killoughteen NS (2018), Scoil Mhuire Broadford (2019) and St Patricks N.S Bruree (2020).
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List of Participating Primary Schools in the Competition:
|Doon Convent NS|
|Gaelscoil an Ráithín|
|Gaelscoil o Doghair, Newcastlewest|
|Limerick Educate Together|
|Our Lady of Lourdes Rossbrien|
|Presentation Primary, Sexton Street|
|Scoil Dean Cussen, Bruff|
|Scoil Ide Corbally|
|Scoil Mhuire NS, Broadford|
|Scoil Mhuire NS, Murroe|
|Scoil Mocheallog, Kilmallock|
|St Joseph’s NS, Ballybrown|
|St Patricks BNS, Dublin Road|
|St Patrick’s NS, Bruree|
|St Paul’s NS, Dooradoyle|
|Thomond Primary School|