Gaelscoil pupils taking part in the World Championship of The Vex Robotics competition in Dallas, Texas.

From Tipp to Texas

Gaelscoil competes in World Championship of Vex Robotics

A GROUP from Sixth Class in Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan recently travelled to Dallas, Texas, to participate in the World Championship of The Vex Robotics competition. Having participated at the regional and national finals in the robotics competition, our school qualified for the World Championship.

Three Irish primary schools represented Ireland at The World Championship: Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan, Tubber NS from Co Offaly and Scoil Naisiunta na Sraithe Moire in Donegal. Friendships were formed and each Irish school supported and cheered each other on in the competition.

The project involved building, programming, and driving a robot around an obstacle course and completing several tasks. The robot operates in a drive mode with drivers and an autonomous mode with the code.

The project involved all of the class, whereby each pupil was engaged in a different skill group - building, coding, documenting and driving and preparing a STEM research project. It covers all of the STEM skills, fostering creativity, engineering, co-operation, thinking, outside the box and building initiative, oral language and communication skills.

Over 750 teams from all across the globe participated in the elementary school competition. The championship was held over three days, in the Kay Bailey, Hutchinson Convention Centre in Dallas.

During the opening ceremony, (which rivalled an Olympics opening ceremony), representatives from our school participated in the Parade of Nations and flew the Irish flag in front of a crowd of 7,000 spectators. We had a pit area to decorate in the Irish colours, and all hands were on deck to help with this. We even brought out our tin whistles with us and treated the audience to a taste of Irish music.

During the competition, we were paired with teams from other countries for our matches with the aim of achieving a combined score. This meant that we had to meet the other team before the match and work out a combined strategy as to how to tackle the course. Quick-thinking, adaptability, and resourcefulness were key skills as was evident when working with a Japanese team. Google Translate failed to work and the children had to resort to sign language for communication to strategise.


The trip to Dallas, and the opportunity to compete on a global stage was the most amazing opportunity for this group. None of this would have been possible without the huge sponsorship and support that we received from local businesses, the corporate sector, and generosity from family and friends and the school community.

We are so grateful to everyone for their support to enable this dream to come true.