Robotics championships at Acadia engage young minds in programming

Published on March 4, 2017

The Horton Robats team consists of Lydia Wilks, left, Margaret Hopkins and Anna Joy Aylward Burgess.

©Wendy Elliott

WOLFVILLE NS - Over 500 keen participants, volunteers, parents and friends were on hand 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 on hand this year as several coaches worked independently of the school system due to the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union ‘work-to-rule.’

Two members of the Royal Robots team from Annapolis Royal were focussed on their robot's action in competition.

©Wendy Elliott

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. They included: 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. Other Valley teams came from Horton High School and Annapolis West Education Centre.

 

Go online: http://robots.acadiau.ca 

 

 

The Sisters of Science team from Kingston had participants jumping in and out of competition in short order.

©Wendy Elliott