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Robotics is providing hands-on and minds-on challenges and students are eating it up

Since its introduction, Robotics has caught on in a remarkable way with students, staff and community partners throughout the Algoma District.  

This is the 15th year that ADSB has run robotics competitions and the 4th year running the Vex secondary qualifier event at Sault College.  Each year the interest and participation in Robotics has grown. In fact, this year will be the largest secondary event yet with 21 teams from 8 Algoma District schools competing. We now have 80% of all English secondary schools in Algoma participating - a record for any district in Ontario.
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Vex Robotics Secondary Competition

Over 170 students came together in December (2016) for the one-day Vex Robotics Secondary competition, where they squared off in the robotic throwing game “Starstruck”, developed by VEX Robotics, Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. Throughout the day, spectators watched the exciting Teamwork competitions, the Skills Challenges, and visited the pit area and watched the teams repair and perfect their robot designs.

The top four teams from this event earned invitations to the Ontario Provincial Championships in St. Catharines, February 24th, 2017, where they will attempt to earn a spot at the VEX Robotics World Championships, in April, 2017.  Worldwide, 20,000+ teams from 25 countries will battle for berths to this World event.

This local qualifying event was made possible by the incredible support of TenarisAlgomaTubes, the Algoma District School Board, Sault College, The Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO - Algoma Chapter), and The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT – Algoma Chapter).  Volunteers from Sault College, Tenaris, ADSB and local secondary schools have graciously donated hundreds of hours to put on this annual event.

Competing Schools included:
1. Central Algoma Secondary School
2. Hornepayne High School
3. Korah C& VS
4. Michipicoten High School
5. St. Mary’s Collegiate
6. Superior Heights C&VS
7. W.C. Eaket High School
8. White Pines C&VS

The Hornepayne High school’s squad “Stormborn” brought home the JUDGE’s award by impressing the judges with their overall performance and skills.

Peer awards (as voted on by their fellow teams) were earned by Michipicoten High School’s “Little Vikings” for their enthusiasm and ENERGY while Superior Heights’ “White Noise Factor” was voted to receive the SPORTSMANSHIP award.

The local program and event were made possible by the incredible support and assistance of Tenaris Algoma Tubes, PEO & OACETT (Algoma chapters), Sault College and Algoma District School Board, plus dozens of local engineering and technology companies who contributed to the  purchase of the event fields and game equipment for the event.

VexIQ Summer Camp

This past summer, White Pines Robotics ran its first ever WP Robotics Summer Camp, a free program for ADSB students. The two, one-week camps taught students critical thinking, problem solving, programming and hardware design. 

No previous experience was necessary and students learned practical, hands-on engineering and computer science skills. The camps concluded with students building robots to compete in a tournament.

Camp #1 was run for students entering Grades 3, 4 and 5 in September.  Camp #2 was run for students entering Grades 6, 7 and 8 in September.

Both camp sessions took place at White Pines Collegiate & Vocational School from 8:30am to 4:30pm daily. Space was limited to 24 students per week and both sessions were filled to capacity in record time, demonstrating once again the popularity of robotics.