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Teams ready to do battle to claim title in young innovators contest

Five schools from the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) will next week compete in the Seagate Young Innovators final.

St Colmcille’s Primary in Claudy, Jones Memorial Primary in Enniskillen, Langfield Primary in Omagh, Moat Primary in Lisnaskea and Strabane Primary, will go head to head with other schools from Northern Ireland at the event in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, on June 19.

They won their place in the competition after beating 13 other schools in the WELB’s Sentinus Science and Technology Challenge final in the Technology Education Centre, Omagh.

Primary six and seven pupils were set the task of designing and building a structure that will carry a TV camera between two supports a distance of 45cm apart whilst keeping it as level as possible to capture the last hundred metres of every race at the Olympics 2012.

The three-man teams were provided with a limited range of raw materials and were given one hour to complete the task.

Alison Smyth, WELB head of curriculum and advisory support, said: “I’m really impressed by the ingenious thinking the pupils demonstrated in order to solve the problem posed — the variety of solutions and the level of skill I noted as the judges performed the onerous task of marking the structures.”

Sinead McCusker, technology teacher at Omagh Academy who led the judging panel, said: “As a technology teacher what I have seen reminds me what is good about education.

“It is wonderful to see children having an opportunity to utilise their technology skills in a creative manner.

“Everyone was thoroughly engaged with the activity while enjoying what was a challenging problem solving task.”

Belfast Telegraph