Beautiful minds Robotics championship engages young minds in programming
It’s amazing what young people can do with technology.
More than 500 keen participants, volunteers, parents and friends came together for the Provincial Robot Programming Championship at Acadia University on March 4.
Teams came from as far away as Sydney, Truro, Digby and Charlottetown, PEI. This was the 12th year for the competitions. It also marked the 11th-year anniversary for the Lego League offered to Nova Scotia youth ages nine to 14.
Both junior and senior competitors faced a time crunch. The 23 junior teams had less than three minutes to complete tabletop missions or present their robots.
There appeared to be more community-based teams in attendance this year as several coaches worked independently of the school system due to the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union work-torule.
The Axe Robotics team from Wolfville, who were there for the first time, won the ‘rookie coaches of the year award.’
Dr. Dan Silver, of the Acadia Institute for Data Analytics, said organizers are hoping some teams in the province will go on to the world level in the next two or three years and do incredibly well.
Teams came clad in costumes that included everything from bottles as jet packs to tie-tied lab coats.
This year, the Acadia Robotics
team, in co-operation with the Nova Scotia Community College, engaged First Lego League (FLL) teams and high school Robohit teams.
Silver celebrated the collaboration of educational institutions, government and industry that has engaged youth in building digital technologies and teamwork.
According to Silver, the competitions are important for connecting youth with computer science, digital technology and more generally Science Technology engineering and Math (STEM).
Qualifying tournaments were held at five Nova Scotia Community Colleges (NSCC) campuses last November, including the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), Lawrencetown, Lunenburg Campus, Bridgewater, Akerley Campus, Dartmouth,
The Truro Campus, and the Marconi Campus, in Sydney.
Of the 13 senior teams in competition, seven of them came from King’s-edgehill School in Windsor, one of which captured first place. Other Valley teams were third place Horton High School and fourth place Annapolis West Education Centre.
The Horton Robats team, which came third in the Robofest, consists of Lydia Wilks, left, Margaret Hopkins and Anna Joy Aylward Burgess.
The Royal Robots, who came out on top in the First Lego Leaque, represented Annapolis West Education Centre.
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