The St. Michael’s College Robotics Programme has had some notable successes, at both national and international level in the four years since it has been set up. The current group of students are following in the successful footsteps of previous groups as one of teams recently won the Northern Ireland First Lego League with Mrs. Lucy Donnelly as their mentor. They have also won the Northern Ireland heat of Tomorrow’s Engineers EEP Robotics Challenge. This meant that the boys gained entry to the National Finals of the EEP Robotics Challenge that will be held in Birmingham later this year where Mrs. Donnelly and Mr. McDonagh hope to take the team to the podium places. This prestigious competition is sponsored and endorsed by Institute of Electrical Engineers. The teams have a number of challenges to overcome by programming the robots to accomplish tasks or use remote controls to manipulate the robots to meet the challenge.

St. Michael’s are also delighted that Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) and Elite Electronics have come on board to provide continued support to the SME Robotics Club. In the last few years pupils from this club have gone on to gain engineering awards through the Arkwright Foundation and these sponsors are a big part of allowing the boys to have these experiences and see career pathways more clearly. Caroline McCaffrey, spokesperson for QIH said: “In today’s world where there is an emphasis on STEM subjects in providing pupils with the skills needed in the modern work place it is great to see a school that gives pupils opportunities like this. We are delighted to be involved with this initiative.”Joy Drugan from Elite Electronics commented: “The school is to be commended for implementing this programme. It is great to see the boys having fun and enjoying the Robotics programme and being able to take part in these great competitions.

Mark Henry, Principal of St. Michael’s College commented: “Congratulations to the boys on this fantastic achievement. It is a testament to the dedication of the boys and the staff, namely, Mr. McDonagh and Mrs. Donnelly. The SME Robotics has thrived in the last few years and has enjoyed much success.

“I would like to thank our sponsors for helping us to provide these opportunities for the boys.”