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Here come the robots

Tuesday, December 03, 2013   by: Staff


SAULT STE. MARIE - The Algoma District School Board (ADSB) is pleased to announce the introduction and development of the VEX robotics competition and classroom curriculum program for the 2013 / 2014 school year.

VEX robotics is a robotics program which will allow all ADSB secondary schools to participate in competitive and creative engineering game-based competition throughout the school year.

This program replaces the original FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics program.

All robots are kit-based, require minimal tools, and allow more access to students across our District.

VEX expectations include engineering design, programming, assembly, testing and robot operations.

The VEX Program will open up the world of robotics to secondary students throughout the district, an opportunity about which Director of Education Lucia Reece is particularly pleased.

“We have seen that robotics, as a competitive and educational platform, serves an important need within our school system. Students learn a multitude of skills which they can incorporate into their post-secondary planning and which may end up shaping careers and future directions. By supporting this format, all of our high schools, regardless of size and location, can participate in a robotics program.”

Jonathan Budau, the Boards’ Grade 7-12 Math and Science contact, is pleased with some of the other benefits.

“This program has course curriculum benefits that were not previously available. We also expect that elementary school students will be able to further their robotics experiences in the public secondary school of their choice.”

To date, 21 teams from six ADSB schools have registered with the VEX competition league, and will be competing at the inaugural Northern Ontario VEX Regional competition, hosted by Sault College, on December 14, VEX provincial Championships in March 2014, which will select 12 Ontario teams to compete in the World VEX robotics championships in California in April 2014.

Programs such as these translate classroom learning into hands-on experience, providing students with the necessary skills to be successful in the fields of science and technology.

Tenaris Algoma Tubes has had a long standing partnership with the Algoma District School Board in support of the FIRST program, and now the VEX program.

Engineering and robotics can play a substantial role in industries like Tenaris and their donation will assist teams with VEX start-up costs, the purchase of robotics kits and additional hardware as needed.

The Board wishes to acknowledge and thank TenarisAlgomaTubes for their generous donation and ongoing support of the VEX Robotics Program.

For further information about the VEX Robotics Program please visit their website at


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