High School Students Battle Their Robots at VEX Robotics Competition
Nineteen teams from local and district schools, plus a visiting team from Toronto, met in December (2015) to battle it out in a 2-vs-2 robotic basketball event, as part of the VEX Robotics High School Qualifying series. Part of a series of events being held in over twenty countries worldwide, this local competition saw one hundred and twenty students, from Grades 7 to 12, display their engineering, programming and driving skills in a series of robotics matches, skills challenges and judging categories. In the end, the overall “Excellence Award” winner, the top award in the day-long competition, was earned by the Superior Heights team “The BD-Boyz”, a group of Grade-12’s who are in their third year competing in this league.
In the main 2-on-2 game event, the top-ranked BD-Boyz drafted the visiting Toronto team, “The Pace Invaders” and a grade eight team from Korah Intermediate School, “IKOR”, to form the champion game-winning alliance. The exciting playoff final pitted them against the 3-team alliance of the “Kill-A-Watts” from White Pines, the “Big Vikings” from Michipicoten High School in Wawa, and “The White Noise Factor” from Superior Heights. The BD-Boyz’ alliance prevailed in an exciting final match, winning 94-63 to take home the gold medal for the 4-robot elimination event.
The BD-Boyz, Pace Invaders, and IKOR all earned invitations to the Provincial Championships, which will take place in St. Catharines, Ontario on March 6th. Top teams in that event advance to the World Championships in Lexington, Kentucky in April, 2016.
Other award winners for the day included:
Programming Skills Champion: The Pace Invaders (Toronto)
Driver Skills Champion: The Pace Invaders (Toronto)
Design Award (for best evidence of Engineering skills and principals): The veX-Men (Superior Heights)
Amaze Award (for impressive and consistent scoring ability): The Pace Invaders (Toronto)
Build Award (for robust and efficient building of the robot); The Big Vikings (Michipicoten High School)
Create Award (for creative and innovative design elements in their robot): Team Global Power (St. Mary’s High School)
Judges Award (for all-round impressive team, robot, and driving skills); Coltbotics (Korah)
Sportsmanship Award (as voted by all the other teams, for generosity and sportsmanship on and off the field); The Little Vikings (Michipicoten High School, Wawa). (Two team members pictured at left with their trophy)
Partner-of-the-Year Award went to three important and supportive organizations: Tenaris Algoma Tubes (league supporter for the past seven years), Sault College (event host since 2009), and Algoma District School Board (for supporting robotics in the district since 2001).
Volunteer-of-the-Year Award went to Mr. Mark Carlucci (White Pines) for his instrumental role in creating a robotics program at his school which has produced or mentored over 20 teams in the past three years.