Kids compete in the Robot Olympics in Rotkreuz

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Participants of the WRO 2023
Participants of the WRO 2023

Who can build the cleverest Lego robot’ 130 children and young people will face this challenge on May 25: they will compete against each other in the largest Swiss regional competition of the "World Robot Olympiad". The tinkering will take place on the Zug-Rotkreuz campus of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - among the participants are teams from Zug, Schwyz, Obwalden and Lucerne.

The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is a global competition for children and young people with a passion for technology, which is organized in Switzerland by the World Robot Olympiad Switzerland association. On May 25, 2024, the largest of nine regional competitions will take place on the Zug-Rotkreuz campus: Hosted by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics International AG. The main sponsor of the event is the municipality of Risch, and it is also supported by the Zug Commercial and Industrial Training Center, Faszination Technik and the Zug Chamber of Commerce.

Registration boom also evident in Central Switzerland

This year, 52 teams consisting of 130 boys and girls have registered for the regional competition in Rotkreuz. 32 participants come from the central Swiss cantons of Zug, Schwyz, Obwalden and Lucerne. "It is impressive to see how interest in robotics and STEM has grown in recent years. The number of registered teams has more than doubled since 2022, and even tripled here in Rotkreuz," says a delighted Roland Christen, co-organizer on behalf of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The teams consist of two to three children or young people who have been able to prepare for the upcoming challenge since the competition task was published in mid-January. On the day of the competition, they build and program a Lego robot and compete with it against the other teams. The winning team with the mini-robot will take part in the Swiss final on June 22, 2024 in Hausen AG. The best teams in the final will represent Switzerland at the international WRO competition in Turkey. More than 26,000 teams from over 85 countries worldwide take part.

Tasks relating to people, nature and the climate

It is important to the organizers that the tasks set at the Olympics have a current relevance. Under the motto "Earth Allies", the focus this year is on tasks that deal with the coexistence of humans and nature and the consequences of climate change. Depending on the age group, the tasks include managing an organic farm, greening cities or rebuilding after an earthquake. The competition tasks vary in difficulty and complexity between the age groups, but are identical worldwide.

"First and foremost, we want to make computer science and robotics fun," explains Roland Christen, who regularly leads STEM projects at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. It’s all about experimenting, learning in a group and also experiencing a small sense of achievement. This makes mathematics real and visible for the children and young people, technology tangible and computer science tangible. Ultimately, the aim of the WRO organizers and partners is to support STEM projects in schools with this form of promoting young talent and to raise the profile of robotics and computer science in Switzerland as a location for education.

Details of the regional competition in Rotkreuz:

  • When: Saturday, May 25, 2024, 07:45 to 18:15
  • Where: Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - Computer Science, Zug-Rotkreuz Campus, Suurstoffi 1, 6343 Rotkreuz