Beau­ti­ful minds Ro­bot­ics cham­pi­onship en­gages young minds in pro­gram­ming

Annapolis Valley Register - - COVER STORY - WENDY EL­LIOTT WWW.KINGSCOUN­TYNEWS.CA WOLFVILLE

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.

WENDY EL­LIOTT

The Hor­ton Ro­bats team, which came third in the Robofest, con­sists of Ly­dia Wilks, left, Mar­garet Hop­kins and Anna Joy Ayl­ward Burgess.

WENDY EL­LIOTT

The Royal Ro­bots, who came out on top in the First Lego Leaque, rep­re­sented An­napo­lis West Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre.

Ap­peal has sig­nif­i­cant mean­ing

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