Thirty teams of three students each had only one hour to programme robots in the Robothon Contest held last Saturday at Rach Mieu Sporting House in HCM City.
Dinh Pham Ba Thi of Nguyen Binh Khiem Primary School in District 1 said his team, which won third prize, used its knowledge of maths to programme a robot to perform various tasks for a "forest IT tower", including placement of seeds and land samples.
He said that the assembling and programming activities had stimulated mathematical thought.
The contest theme this year was EcoWatch. Organised by the city's Department of Education and Training in co-operation with DTT-Eduspec, the aim was to devise forest-protection methods.
Teams from Nguyen Binh Khiem and Le Ngoc Han primary schools were chosen to attend the International Robothon Contest to be held in the city in November.
Nguyen Quang Vinh, head of the city Education and Training Department's Primary Education Division, said the contest was part of the city's education reform.
The contest, which began in 2003, is held every year in one of three major cities, HCM City, Ha Noi or Da Nang.
The Ministry of Education and Training has approved the teaching of robotics at primary and high schools as extracurricular activity.
More than 50 schools in the country now teach robotics.