On Saturday, October 29, a contingent of 11 members of the Middle School Robotics club headed to Whitchurch-Stouffville for their first VEX IQ Robotics competition in nearly three years. It was a very foggy morning, and it was easy to miss the renovated barn in the middle of nowhere while looking for the event. Thankfully, everyone arrived safely and we took in the atmosphere with excitement and apprehension.
We registered two teams for the event - a Grade 7 team and a Grade 8 team - and so the weeks leading up to the competition were a bit of a whirlwind of trying to ensure that we had two working robots to be able to compete.
After a few practice runs (and emergency robotic arm fixes), we were ready to begin competing. The object of this year’s game is to release a series of orange discs from their dispensers, all of which function in different ways. Then, the robots needed to pick up the discs and shoot them across the goal line to the various scoring zones, each worth a different points value. Some of the other robots, to our amazement, were designed in such a way that they could collect the discs directly from the dispenser and shoot them in a rapid-fire motion across the goal line. Although our robots were not quite so highly engineered, we were inspired by the possibilities we saw in the other teams’ bots and are looking forward to our next term of robotics where we will be able to modify our robots to be able to contribute more effectively to the team competitions.
The students made CDS proud in their approach and their attitude at the competition. Our teams finished 8th and 10th out of the 11 teams there, but when it came time for the award ceremonies, our students were surprised to be called up to the front to receive the Judges’ Award. According to the VEX website, “The Judges Award is presented to a team that the Judges determine is deserving of special recognition. Judges consider a number of possible criteria for this award, such as team displays of special attributes, exemplary effort and perseverance at the event, or team accomplishments or endeavors throughout the season that may not fit under existing awards but are nonetheless deserving of special recognition.”
The judges also passed along these remarks about the team, which led to them being awarded this prize: “We were so impressed by the energy and working spirit of your teams! Although they didn't have the best performing robot, they kept improving and learning. During lunch break, there were a lot of students playing and running around while your teams were still working hard on their robots, testing on the fields. Their robot designs also have unique features and reflect their understanding of the game and mechanics. This is what we value: learning and getting passionate about STEM subjects. Your students really set the role models for the other students for hardworking and passion at robotics learning!”
Congratulations to all students who participated in the competition, as well as all of those members of the club who were not able to attend but who contributed to the robot building and design. We are looking forward to a fun winter term where we will be able to improve our design and hopefully compete in more competitions!
CDS wishes to recognize and acknowledge the land on which the school operates. For thousands of years, these have been the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We also recognize the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples who also shared this land. CDS respects the relationship with these lands and recognizes that our connection can be strengthened by our continued relationship with all First Nations, by acknowledging our shared responsibility to respect and care for these lands and waters for future generations.
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