Thursday 15th May saw Intel Ireland’s Leixlip site play host to the Kildare Final of the STEPS to Engineering K’NEX Challenge. A total of 68 students from 34 local schools took part. Approximately 750 schools around the country have taken part in the competitive challenge this year.

The local Kildare pupils won a place in the final stages of the challenge by winning the competition at class room stage. A number of engineers from Intel judged in local schools during the first rounds of the competition. Intel employee Alan Stafford was on hand to judge the Kildare regional final along with Stephen Corkery and Linda Morris from Clarke and Associates.

At the regional final the pupils faced another challenge using imagination, creativity and ingenuity to design and make a new model using a specially created K’NEX kit. The challenge was to construct a digital camera with a lens, view screen, flash, and to top it all off, the camera had to rotate on a specially designed platform, all made using K’NEX. Eamonn Sinnott, Intel Fab 24 Plant Manager was on hand to welcome the students and kick-off the challenge.

Pádraig O’Murchú, Education Manager, Intel Ireland, who presided over the awards ceremony, congratulated the children on the fantastic models that they had built and said that he hoped to see many of the children return to Intel as future employees in ten years time.

Richard Wilson, STEPS to engineering K’NEX project coordinator said, “The challenge brings the wonderful and exciting world of engineering into the lives of the young pupils taking part. Engineering plays a part in everything around us from roller coasters to buildings, mobile phones and exciting new technologies. This competition is all about opening up young people’s eyes to how important engineering is in their lives.” He continued by offering his appreciation to Intel for again hosting the great event, commenting on how well the parents of the pupils were looked after and how nice the staff and the venue was, contributing to an extremely enjoyable day for all.

First place in the Kildare Final went to Thomas Dore and Rory O’Sullivan from Caragh National School. Caomhan Doolan and Conor Murphy from Scoil Bhride, Athgarvan claimed a very close second place. The winning team will compete in the National Final this month in The Helix in Dublin City University.

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*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.