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Elementary robotics take competition to the 'Next Level' this weekend

Local elementary students will put their robot builds to the test at Sault College
File photo of the Vex Robotics competition. James Hopkin/SooToday

For the 12th year in a row, Sault College will once again host to elementary robotics, as the annual VEX IQ Robotics Challenge takes place coming Saturday, Jan. 12. Forty-one elementary robotics teams from across Algoma will be competing in the 2018-2019 VEX IQ Challenge, Next Level.

Competitors will be using robots they have designed, built and programmed themselves to push and stack hubs, as well as lift their robot off the field in a series of co-operative matches throughout the day.

Teams will be working towards winning one of several awards and earning a spot at the Ontario Provincial Championships on March 2 in Brampton.

“The robotics program provides a great opportunity for participants to pursue their interest in tinkering with technology,” says Mark Carlucci, the event coordinator. “They get to share their passion and excitement with peers in an environment that promotes teamwork and collaboration.”

The largest in a series of regional qualifying competitions in Canada, successful teams will earn invitations to the provincial championship, where they will compete for a spot at the VEX World Champions, the largest robotics competition in the world. Returning this year are three local teams who earned spots at the World event last season, the Grands Loups and Petites Loups from Notre Dame du Sault, and iSMAK from F.H. Clergue.

The event is open to the public, with free admission, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Sault College Health and Wellness Centre. Free parking is available in J-Lot South. This is a great opportunity for families to check out the amazing robotics opportunities available for local youth.

This event has been graciously supported by Tenaris AlgomaTubes, the Algoma District School Board, the Professional Engineers Ontario – Algoma Chapter, the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists – Algoma Chapter, the Sault Ste Marie Airport Development Corporation and Sylvan Automation.

As well, volunteers from Sault College, ADSB, and professionals from the local engineering and technology communities have provided countless hours of their time to ensure this amazing event can happen.

If you or your child is interested in becoming involved with the local VEX Robotics program, speak with your school principal or contact Mark Carlucci at [email protected].


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