Local School Teams Battle to Secure Spot at VEX Robotics National Final

Bolton, UK, 03/12/2018

As the leading platform for educational robotics around the world, VEX Robotics introduces schoolchildren to the possibilities that a career in engineering has to offer. New and emerging jobs in the technology sector mean the skills pupils develop with VEX are more valuable than ever.

The VEX IQ Challenge, Next Level event took place at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy on 30th November, where 9 teams consisting of pupils aged 8 to 14 competed against other schools from across Greater Manchester and Northern England.

Bolton St Catherine’s Academy were proud to host the VEX IQ Challenge regional heat and had 1 team competing alongside several schools from the surrounding regions, including Bolton School, Lyndhurst Primary School, Cedar Mount Academy and St Charles RC Primary in Greater Manchester, as well as Landau Forte College in Derby and Mellor St Mary Primary School in Blackburn.

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Students from around the country battle throughout the year in a series of regional events to gain the prestigious position of attending the National Championship which will take place at Telford International Centre, March 2019. Those who prevail as National champions will then qualify to compete in the Guinness World Record breaking, VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky in April 2019 against thousands of top teams from over 45 countries around the world.

The tournament champions were…

Bolton St Catherine’s Academy and Bolton School - who worked together to secure their place at the National Championships in March.

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Bolton St Catherine’s Academy’s team, which is made up of pupils from years 5 and 6, designed, built and controlled their own robot against teams from other primary and secondary schools. The robot they created was similar in design to their winning design from last year, but modified to suit the new competition. One of the objects of this year’s game, ‘Next Level’, is to remove a ‘golden hub’ from the centre of the game field and stack it on top of other hubs. Their design allowed the robot to reach and grab high above and use its ‘crane’ to hoist itself into the air and hang from the central bar, which gained them extra points.

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Mr Christopher Hill, Deputy Head at the Academy said: “It was an honour to host the regional Vex IQ challenge competition this year. We have had a good number of schools attend to compete and to win again shows our students’ hard work in designing and practising has paid off. The pupils meet each week after school to develop their engineering and computing skills. It was great to see our pupils holding their own alongside older pupils from secondary schools, including Bolton School.”

Miss Victoria Hislop, Teacher and STEM Club leader said: “Our pupils did themselves proud. They have put a lot of time, effort and thought into their design. It was a tense final round with Bolton School and we were literally on the edge of our seats as we looked on before taking victory in the final match.”

Bridie Gaynor, VEX Competition Support Manager said, “Every season, I am impressed with the high quality of engineering and programming skills shown by these students. The high level of professionalism and teamwork shown is commendable and the students evidently enjoy themselves bringing an exciting energy to the competition! Students need to engage with projects they are involved in as the world is becoming increasingly abstract for most young people. What VEX uniquely provides is the ability for children to turn concepts, such as control systems and engineering interconnections into something physical”.


About VEX Robotics

VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities and robotics teams around the world. Their VEX IQ and VEX EDR product lines span primary and secondary schools with accessible, scalable, and affordable robotics solutions. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. It allows educators to easily customise projects to meet the level of students’ abilities as they inspire and prepare the STEM problem solvers of tomorrow.