Schools are looking to represent Ireland in the international tier of the global STEM competition
Midlands students have been competing at TUS Athlone FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Regional Finals.
18 teams across five counties including Our Lady's Bower and Coláiste Chiaráin in Athlone battled it out for a coveted spot in the national final in Dublin next month.
Team Garfield from Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon scooped the top prize of ‘Overall Champions’, receiving a trophy crafted entirely from LEGO.
Team Lil Octaves from Stokane National School in Sligo also qualified for nationals.
The aim of the first Lego League Challenge is to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The winners of the national competition will go on to represent Ireland in the international tier of the global STEM competition in Morocco in May.
"Today's event isn't just about showcasing robotics and innovation. It's about unleashing the creative spirit and problem-solving skills of budding engineers," explained Dr Clodagh Reid
"Through months of preparation and outreach, we've nurtured their enthusiasm for STEM, and today we witnessed it come to life in the arena as well as through their innovation project," Dr Reid continued.
"We've seen these students grow not just as engineers, but as collaborators and innovators," remarked Jane Burns, Director of Education & Public Engagement at TUS Athlone. "Their journey from classroom to competition arena is a testament to the transformative power of STEM education."
"Our mission is not just to impart knowledge but to ignite a passion for STEM in future students. By engaging them in hands-on experiences like FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge, we're not only developing essential skills like coding, design, and research, but we're also shaping the innovators and leaders of tomorrow's workforce," he explains.