NI students qualify for national robotics challenge

  • Three schools from Northern Ireland have qualified for the national finals of the Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge, to be held in Birmingham on 13 March.

    In first place was Cambridge House, Ballymena, second was Friends School in Lisburn, and St Michael’s Grammar in Enniskillen took third place.

    Students from 24 schools across NI took part in the regional heat of the robotics competition last week.

    The Challenge allowed the young people to build, programme and control LEGO robots. The aim of the contest was to teach the students real-world engineering, technology, robotics and computing skills.

    Pupils had to research, design and present their own solution to a contemporary engineering problem faced by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals in the aviation industry.

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    The Challenge was managed locally by educational STEM charity Sentinus, which works with more than 60,000 young people each year from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. Regional heats have been taking place in early 2020 across the UK, ahead of the national finals at The Big Bang Fair in March.

    The event was hosted in partnership with The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB NI) as part of National Apprenticeship Week. 

    Bill Connor, CEO of Sentinus said he hears regular industry concerns about STEM skills shortages, and therefore “communicating the breadth and variety of engineering careers to young people is vital for the future of the NI economy.” He added that the competition is a “fantastic way of inspiring the next generation of engineers and gives participants first-hand experience in problem-solving, initiative and team working.”

    Barry Neilson, CITB NI’s CEO congratulated all who took part in the Challenge and commented: “The skills the teams had to demonstrate are vital for a career in construction and it was clear from their hard work and determination that they are indeed the constructors and engineers of the future.”

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    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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