by Ms A. Camilleri Nappa
A group of eleven students from St. Margaret College Middle School, Cospicua participated for the second consecutive year at the Malta Robotics Olympiad which was held at the Cottonera Sports Complex, Cospicua on 8th April. This event was supported by the Ministry of Education and Employment.
The event kicked off with the official Malta Robotics Olympiad NXT Competition, which saw 31 competing teams including more than 110 students from different schools around Malta and Gozo with cohorts from both Senior and Middle Schools. Here teams built and programmed a Sumobot, with the ultimate aim to push the opponent’s robot off the Dohyo (Sumo Ring). This activity was aimed at bringing young people together and develop their problem solving and creative skills through challenging and educational robotics challenges.
Our students presented a finished robot by the end of the two hours’ time frame, which considering this was a ‘blind challenge’, was no small feat. It is worth noting that the participating students have been preparing for this event since October during their mid-day break robotics activity. Accompanying students had the opportunity to participate in the various hands-on workshops organised by different entities throughout the day; including robotics, coding, virtual reality, gaming, 3D printing, drones, design and technology projects, and vintage computers, as well as enjoying the opportunity to meet with BB-8, an extremely popular robot from the most recent Star Wars episode. In addition our students had the opportunity to meet Hon. Joseph Muscat and Hon. Chris Agius MP who were present for the event.
The Malta Robotics Olympiad was open to the general public from 16.00hrs onwards. A celebration ceremony followed where the winning teams were awarded and certificates were given to all the participating students.