The Worldwide Teenager Robotics Association (WRTA) international robotics competition has taken place in Northern Ireland for the second time.
Leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational charity Sentinus managed the competition locally, working closely with the Chinese robotics education organisation IDIY RoTec to deliver the event which welcomed 47 Chinese students to Northern Ireland for five days.
Taking place at Belfast City Hall, the competition was open to local students as well as international students from further afield. The students were required to demonstrate their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication.
Bill Connor, Sentinus CEO, commented:
“We are delighted that the International Robotics Challenge has taken place in Belfast for the second year in a row. This global competition is a fantastic way of inspiring the next generation of engineers and highlighting the impact that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills can have on people’s lives, the environment, economies and communities.
“We hear regularly about STEM skills shortages and gaps and Sentinus is passionate about highlighting to young people the excitement and creativity of engineering through events and competitions like this. We’re especially pleased with both the opportunity the International Robotics Challenge brings to develop our local skills base, with 30 students from Northern Ireland competing, and the possibility to establish economic, educational and cultural links with China through our relationships with IDIY RoTec and the Chinese consulate.”
Terry Yang, from IDIY RoTec, added:
“The Worldwide Teenager Robotics Association, founded in 2015 by six of the largest robotics education organisations in China, is a fun platform to inspire and challenge teenagers in STEM and we hope that this will be the start of a long term relationship with Belfast and Sentinus. We want to develop skills in robotics and STEM, but we also want to build opportunities for young people to experience different cultures and create new friendships. In the future, we hope this will be a platform on which to create more opportunities for collaboration between China and Northern Ireland.”
Sentinus is an educational charity working with schools and colleges across Northern Ireland to deliver programmes that promote engagement in STEM and currently support the development of over 60,000 young people a year by enhancing their life skills.