CIS graduate engineer invited to judge engineering challenge’s UK national finals
Dan Nonoo took part as a judge in the prestigious VEX Robotics engineering challenge. In his own words:
This year I was invited to judge the design award as a representative of Ultra, for students in the VEX robotics competition at regional, signature and national finals levels in the UK. The competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship which will be held in the USA in April. Throughout the process of the competitions, more than 11,500 teams from across 40 countries have competed over 750 tournaments, all culminating in next month’s final.
The VEX Robotics competitions are a great opportunity for students to take engineering and science concepts out of the classroom and apply them to real life scenarios, giving them the chance to put their knowledge and creativity to the test in a team environment. Each team was tasked with designing, developing and testing their own robot. They then put their engineering prowess into practice by competing against the other teams, carrying out various tasks to try and score as many points as possible.
I was absolutely blown away with the creativity displayed by the students in how they approached and tackled the challenges, and by the high quality and array of capabilities in what they were able to deliver. From using Scrum team management elements to developing their own iPhone apps, the teams came up with their own unique method to tackle the challenges of the competition, each more impressive than the last. Regardless of their the skill level coming into the competition or where they ended up on the leader board, what really shone though the most was the sportsmanship, enthusiasm and sheer determination of all the teams to do the absolute best they could.
Thanks to the incredible staff at VEX Robotics and the REC foundation for putting together such an amazing event, thanks to Ultra for providing the opportunity to get involved with STEM outreach, and thank you to all of the incredible volunteers and teachers who gave up their time to put on such a fantastic event for all the students.