Lanarkshire pupils brought their STEM skills to life at a regional robotics competition hosted by New College Lanarkshire.
Pupils from five local secondary schools attended the College to compete in the VEX Robotics Regional Heat for the chance to be selected for the UK National Final taking place next month.
Aimed at pupils aged 11 to 18, the VEX Robotics competitions aim to encourage teamwork, problem solving and leadership while encouraging them to get involved in STEM subjects.
Under the guidance of teachers and mentors, 12 teams were challenged to use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and skills challenges. Working under intense pressure, the teams showed off their skills in design, creation and maintenance.
The 47 competitors were cheered on by their teachers, fellow pupils, New College Lanarkshire students and staff members, including Chair of the Lanarkshire Regional Board, Linda McTavish.
The winning alliance, made up of pupils from Braidhurst and Airdrie Academy will now go onto the VEX Robotics Competition UK National Championships 2018 in The International Centre in Telford on 3 March 2018. Those who prevail as National Champions will then qualify to compete in the Guinness World Record breaking VEX Robotics Championships in Louisville, Kentucky in April 2018 against thousands of top teams from over 30 countries around the world.
, lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at the College and one of the organisers of the Scottish heat, said: “Getting to work with some of the most enthusiastic young people in Scotland and watching them develop in skill as well as maturity week by week has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career so far.
“Through our VEX Robotics Club, I have also got meet some of the most dedicated teachers that support their pupils through too many hours to count every week, giving up their own free time.
“I would not have had this opportunity if it had not been for the help and support I have received from the College – especially from fellow staff members in the Faculty of Engineering.
“I would also like to thank North Lanarkshire Schools assisting with the organisation of the event.
“The pupils who take part in these competitions are truly the innovators, engineers, programmers and designers of the future and we can’t wait to see where their skills take them!”
New College Lanarkshire is committed to promoting STEM subjects among young people, and this year 45% of students entered into the competition were female – showing the College’s commitment to encouraging diversity across subjects.
Lecturers in Computer Aided Design at the College’s Motherwell Campus host a weekly VEX Robotics Club for local school pupils to develop their skills in the design, build and programming of VEX robots. With 47 members and continuing to grow, more young people are being encouraged to be innovators with the latest state of the art technology.
For more information about the VEX Robotics Club, follow them on Twitter: @NCLANVex
For more information about New College Lanarkshire’s range of Computer Aided Design programmes, visit: http://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/cad