By: Shauni James

The event was held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre.

Chris Hamling, VEX regional support manager for Oceania, said they gave the students the rules of the competition and then students went away and designed their robots to play the game to the best of their ability within the rules.

The rules were announced in April.

The week started with the New Zealand IQ Nationals on Monday. The international Asia-Pacific Robotics Championship took place from Tuesday through to yesterday.

Hamling said there were teams from China, Taiwan and New Zealand competing in a “friendly, though high-pressure” competition.

The supreme award winners from the high school VEX VRC and the middle school VEX VRC with metal robots, along with the supreme winners from the middle school VEX IQ and elementary school VEX IQ with plastic robots, will qualify for the world championships.

The world championships will be held in Louisville, Kentucky in the United States, in April next year.

Hamling said they have had 230 teams compete.

He said the robotics competition had been running for 10 years and New Zealand had been the world champions for the past nine years.

Hamling said this competition helped to make science and education fun, and they were hoping to make young students feel like they could do science and technology.

It also created an international community and some New Zealand students had made friends from around the world.

Rotorua’s St Mary’s Catholic School had a team take part made up of five pupils.

Lily Kautz, 11, enjoyed being able to learn and get better each time.

Millie Lucich, 10, said the whole experience had been fun.

Ariahna Ngawhika, 11, said she had enjoyed controlling the robot and being in the matches.

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