KCS VEX Robotics Tournament Winners at Regional Qualifier

This year Kinsale Community School agreed to be a VEX Robotics partner.  Ms Niamh Hay who started VEX in Kinsale Community School felt that after winning the Community Award last year in the Kentucky World Championships, that this was the next step to progress robot education in Kinsale.  This meant that we would host VEX primary and secondary school competitions.  On Thursday 21st March we hosted our first secondary school competition at Sáile Sports Centre with the added complication that we had two teams also competing.  The night before the competition the team assembled three robot arenas and set up the pits for the 18 teams who were competing from schools across Cork. 


On the day of the competition, TY students were given a variety of roles to ensure the smooth running of the event.  Many thanks to Toto Pizza who agreed to cater for the event and donate part of their takings to fund the KCS team who will be travelling to Kentucky to represent Ireland at the World Championships in April.  The school also ran a shop on the day to help raise funds, many thanks to Ms Tracey Fleming.


The day started with robot inspections where the robots are rigorously checked to ensure that they met size and parts requirements.  There were 23 qualifying matches where alliances and opponents were randomly chosen.  This resulted in a team ranking with the highest team choosing their alliance for the finals.  Kinsale were at the top of the ranking so this meant that the two KCS robot teams formed an alliance for the final.  Kinsale also scored highest in the driving skills and coding skills competitions.  The finals were nail-bitingly exciting and there were times when Ms Hay worried that she had put all her teams in one egg basket!  There is always a risk that a robot will malfunction in a match, so this would have meant that both teams could have been knocked out in any one of the finals.  Naomh Eltin primary school students came over to support the team as the KCS robotics team mentored them this year for building their robot for the VEX IQ competition. 


The risk paid off as KCS came away with the tournament win.  They also won the Coding and Driving Award and the Excellence Award.  The entire competition was set up, played and dismantled in 24 hours with the help of the entire TY year group in conjunction with DELL EMC.  This was a massive effort and displayed the KCS student/teacher teamwork and cooperation.  Congratulations especially to Ms Claire Sheehan (Deputy Principal), Mr Eddie Farren and Mr John Corcoran for being MCs on the day and to Mr Tony Cierans for being the best gofer ever!!  A special mention to Mr George Hayes for coming out of retirement to assist with the competition.

Both teams are now through to the Irish National Final which will be held in CIT in April.  Fundraising is ongoing for sending the KCS Robot teams to Kentucky to represent Ireland in the World Championships during Easter.  KCS are actively seeking sponsorship for the World Championships.  If you would like to donate please contact the school.

Maria Brosnan