Over 100 primary school students went to battle with their custom-designed sumo wrestling robots at the 9th annual Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Competition this weekend. Emerging victorious from this STEM-inspired challenge held at the Analog Devices Campus in Raheen, Limerick, were students from St Patrick’s Boys National School who secured the title of the 2024 Analog Devices Primary School Robotics Champions.

St Patrick’s previously won the competition in 2022.

Teams comprising 5th and 6th class students from 32 schools across Limerick City and County gathered early on Saturday morning to construct and program their robotic creations. The afternoon saw the culmination of their efforts as the robots entered the ring for a sumo-style showdown. Parents, teachers and friends cheered on the children during the highly competitive finale where points were awarded for teamwork, design, and innovation.

Following an intense competition, Theo Costello, Jan Makowiecki, Dillon Hinchy and Farooq Muniru from St Patrick’s Boys National School emerged as the overall winners, while Mick O’Connell, Dylan Clifford and David O’Sullivan from Dromtrasna NS secured the runners-up position.

The primary goal of this hugely popular event is to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) among primary school students, providing them with a hands-on experience in engineering. The competition encourages teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, and fun, all while imparting essential STEM principles.

Kader Ibrahim, Managing Director, Manufacturing Operations at Analog Devices, announced the winners, stating, “Analog Devices is honoured to support the Primary School Robotics Competition as a platform to propel creativity into the future. In order to inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and problem solvers, we think it is important to develop young minds and provide them with the freedom to explore the fascinating field of robotics.”

In advance of competition day, Analog Devices partnered with LearnIt to deliver complimentary Robotics workshops to all registered primary schools. Over the nine years, Analog Devices has enabled 6,600 students across Limerick city and county to participate in the workshops where they learn to build and program a robot using Lego kits.

The competition day commenced with an advanced robotics workshop, building on the learnings from the initial classroom sessions. A new challenge required students to design and program robots for sumo wrestling. In the afternoon, teams competed in pool stages, with top teams advancing to thrilling playoffs where final points determined the winners.

Previous champions include Scoil Ide (2015), St Patrick’s Girls NS (2016), Our Lady Queen of Peace NS (2017), Killoughteen NS (2018), Scoil Mhuire Broadford (2019), St Patricks N.S Bruree (2020), St Patrick’s National School, Dublin Road (2022) and Scoil Mhuire, Broadford (2023).