RS Components reveals winners of VEX Robotics STEM coding challenge

RS Components (RS) has announced the winners of its online STEM coding challenge run in collaboration with educational robotics systems provider VEX Robotics.

The challenge was split into three age categories: primary school students, lower secondary school students, and upper secondary school students. The challenge involved two coding tasks to navigate a virtual robot to collect and deliver ingredients to production machinery in a virtual crisp factory. Coding involved using the online VEXcode VR portal with either a Scratch block-based programming environment or a Python text editor.

In assessing the students’ completion of the tasks, the judges reviewed several key aspects of the program. From an operational perspective, the evaluation criteria looked at whether the program successfully completed the task, was it consistent in use, and did it complete the task every time. Looking at the code, the judges examined the code structure, the commands used, and the variety of programming constructs employed by each student. In particular, the judges looked for well-structured and commented code that made it easy for a reader to comprehend what the code was doing. The students’ use of program flow commands, use of loops, functions, arrays, and variables was also evaluated. Credit was also given to entrants using only Python coding for a task.

The winners are:

  • Primary school category – (aged 8 to 11): Bailey Richardson
  • Lower secondary school category – (aged 11 to 14): Arnav Gupta
  • Upper secondary school category – (aged 14 to 16): Katie Wright

Chris Calver, UK Education Manager at VEX Robotics, commented, “This challenge elicited some excellent coding from the winning students, demonstrating clever use of the key programming constructs and at times surpassing the skills levels we would have expected.”

Laura Giddings, STEM Education Manager at RS, added, “Experiencing learning hands-on is key in STEM subjects. Bailey, Arnav and Katie all grabbed the opportunity to test out their coding skills in this fun VEX Robotics challenge, and their success will hopefully enthuse them to develop their skills further, and encourage other youngsters to do the same.”

Each winner will receive a VEX Robotics remote-controlled vehicle kit that, when assembled, is controlled by the VEX Pilot application. The runner-up in each category will receive a VEX Robotics Gear Racer kit that demonstrates the result that different gear ratios have on speed and acceleration.

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