Two Midlothian primary schools – Loanhead and St David’s – travelled to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham this week to take part in the VEX Robotics UK Challenge.
The VEX Challenge requires teams to program robots to carry out a series of complex tasks while competing against 40 other teams from all over the UK. Both Midlothian schools performed superbly, with our primary 7 pupils responding to the different challenges with skill and imagination.
Children worked together solve problems, write code and then put their robot into the test field to compete with other teams, many of which had older students from secondary schools in England.
The team from St David’s demonstrated a high level of skill in making their robot complete tasks such as lifting and moving large objects and balancing on a narrow bridge, achieving one of the highest scores of any primary school in the UK.
The P7s from Loanhead impressed the judges so much with their programming ability that they won the ‘Think’ Award for Programming – beating other competitors such as a team from Eton School. This was quite an achievement and sparked huge celebrations amongst all Midlothian pupils and staff!
This session, 26 Midlothian primary schools have been taking part in the Council’s Inspiring Learning Spaces project and they have all had the opportunity to explore new technologies such as robots, drones and virtual reality software. The programming skills demonstrated by our children are hugely important in the world of work and the ability to code and program robots will open up exciting careers pathways for our young people in science, engineering and technology.
To travel to Birmingham the 16 youngsters (and accompanying staff) enjoyed a 9-hour bus trip and an overnight stay in an Adventure Centre. We look forward to welcoming them back to Midlothian and celebrating their achievements.
Well done to Loanhead and St Davids!