Offaly County Council host unique robotics competition

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Offaly County Council hosted the first Offaly VEX IQ Robotics Championships in Tullamore last Thursday, May 16.

Over 250 pupils from 16 schools in Offaly participated in the competition. The event was officially opened by Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Cllr. Danny Owens and there was great excitement in Áras an Chontae with over 400 people in attendance.

The pupils all worked in teams over the last 3 months, designing, building and programming their robots. Offaly County Council is committed to encouraging students throughout the county to develop their skills in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths).

Offaly County Council in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development has provided funding to roll out this programme. Minister Sean Canney and his officials were in attendance on the evening.

The VEX IQ Robotic programme is delivered in collaboration with Cork Institute of Technology - CIT, Local Enterprise Office Offaly, Offaly Libraries and Offaly County Council Information Technology department.

The winning schools in the 2019 competition were:

 Manachan an Tobar – Tubber
 Seosamh Muine Gall – Moneygall
 St Marys National School – Cloghan
 Clara Convent – Clara
 Geashill National School – Geashill

Offaly County Council believes that this initiative is needed to ensure today’s students are qualified for the jobs of tomorrow. The new global economy requires a robust workforce, flush with know-how in STEM subjects. Few factors are more important to Ireland’s future competitiveness and innovation than education.

A healthy STEM education pipeline spanning the years from primary school through to higher education is critical to producing a workforce that can compete in the global marketplace.

This programme aims to encourage our future scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians to experiment and explore and work together to fuel innovation, address grand challenges and help maintain Ireland’s economic standing.

VRparty in Tullamore demonstrated Virtual Reality in the council chamber and this was a big hit with kids and adults alike. VRparty is well worth a visit if you are in Tullamore.

Grant Engineering, Romaquip and EMSS helped out with the competition and it was great to see some of Offaly’s award
winning engineering companies in the county involved.

Primary School involved were:

 Shinchill National School – Killeigh
 Geashill National School – Geashill
 Rahan National School – Rahan
 Clara Convent – Clara
 Daingean National School – Daingean
 Manachan an Tobar – Tubber
 Clonbullogue National School – Clonbullogue
 St Marys National School – Cloghan
 Clonmacnoise National School – Clonmacnoise
 Walsh Island National School - Walsh Island
 Ceann Eitigh National School – Kinnitty

 Seosamh Muine Gall – Moneygall
 Ballinamere National School – Ballinamere
 Coolderry Central National School – Coolderry
 Lumcloon National School – Lumcloon
 Muire Naofa Pollach – Pullough