Davis College, Mallow will represent Ireland at the VEX Worlds, the global final of the VEX Robotics tournament, in Kentucky, United States next week.

The school earned its place at the VEX Worlds when it won the secondary school competition at the EMC VEX Robotics national final held at CIT in January.

At last year’s VEX Worlds, 850 teams from 29 countries across the world competed.

VEX Robotics, sponsored in Ireland by IT multinational EMC, promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning and engagement among primary and secondary school children.

Pupils plan, design and build programmed and remote-controlled robots to complete particular tasks, like manipulating and moving or firing objects into a scoring zone. Mentors from EMC and Cork’s Lifetime Lab provide training and guidance for both pupils and their teachers.

In March, following the national final, two Cork schools travelled to compete in the VEX Robotics UK final. Nagle Community College, Mahon competed in the VEX EDR (secondary school) competition and reached the quarter finals. Gaelscoil Thomáis Dáibhís, Mallow competed in the VEX IQ (primary school) competition; pupils were awarded the ENERGY Award for their performance and enthusiasm as a team.

Martin O’Flaherty, Program Manager at EMC and leader of the EMC VEX Robotics programme, said the initiative “encouraged a hands-on approach to STEM learning and teamwork”.

“The EMC VEX programme is designed to nurture curious and scientific minds. Children at primary and secondary level are not only getting practical experience in computer coding, engineering and construction, but team work, cooperation, planning and project management. These skills together are a powerful combination and prime children for successful third-level education and a career in STEM.

“The 2015/16 EMC VEX Robotics tournament was a resounding success—over 1,000 pupils from 50 primary and secondary schools took part in the national final in January. We anticipate an even more successful 2016/17 season.

“From everyone on the EMC VEX team, we extend Nagle Community College and Gaelscoil Thomáis Dáibhís our congratulations for their excellent achievements at the VEX UK finals; and to Davis College, travelling to the United States to represent Ireland, the very best of luck.”

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