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Manjimup hosts interschool robotics competition for primary school students

Daniel HockingManjimup-Bridgetown Times
East Manjimup and Pemberton Primary School both tied for first place, while Balingup Primary took third place.
Camera IconEast Manjimup and Pemberton Primary School both tied for first place, while Balingup Primary took third place. Credit: Daniel Hocking

Students from 10 local primary schools have put their robotic skills to the test in an interschool competition at the Manjimup Primary School.

Over the past semester, schools in the Warren-Blackwood District had been participating in workshops on how to build, drive and code VEX robots with the help of a coordinating teacher Michele Schmidt from Pemberton Primary School.

The VEX IQ program, which the Warren-Blackwood students participated in, is one of three VEX Robotics programs which allows students to use graphical software to program a robot constructed with plastic pieces and pegs, and participate in the competition.

Local schools taking part were: Pemberton District High School, Nannup District High School, Northcliffe District High School, Bridgetown Primary School, Boyup Brook District High School, Greenbushes Primary School, Kirup Primary School, Balingup Primary School, Manjimup Primary School and East Manjimup Primary School.

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Each school had teams of four with two robots designed to carry out a variety of tasks in the VEX arenas.

Under the VEX IQ competition, points are scored for having the designed robots place balls in goals, move cubes into correct places or stack risers, depending on the game.

Pemberton District High School and East Manjimup Primary School both took first place with a tie of points, while Balingup Primary came in third place.

The robotics program was sponsored by Talison Lithium, having supplied the robotics kits and had been a sponsor of the program for three years.

Students participating said that it was a fun day and despite the challenges they faced, according to Ms Schmidt, overcoming the problems was a highlight. They enjoyed working with other teams to strategise and obtain their best scores.

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