Rising to the challenge

Pupils from Loanhead Primary take part in the VEX Robotics UK Challenge at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
Pupils from Loanhead Primary take part in the VEX Robotics UK Challenge at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Pupils from two Midlothian primary schools showed their mettle when they took part in the VEX Robotics UK Challenge in Birmingham.

The children from Loanhead and St David’s had to program robots to carry out a series of complex tasks while competing against 40 other teams from all over the UK.

Both school teams performed superbly with the P7 pupils responding to the different challenges with skill and imagination.

Children worked together solving problems, writing codes and then putting their robot into the test field to compete with other teams, many of which had older students from secondary schools.

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 and achieved 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 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. They have had the opportunity to explore new technologies such as robots, drones and virtual reality software. The skills learned are important in the world of science, engineering and technology.