Let’s get ready to …Robo Rumble!

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Teams of students are gearing up to show their skills in robotics in the second annual Robo Rumble in High Prairie on March 11-12.

High Prairie School Division hosts the event at the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre on March 11 for Grades 1-3 and on March 12 for Grades 7-12.

“All schools have been preparing for the event,” says Sascha Klingsch, director of technology for HPSD.

Top teams from HPSD schools will compete in the event organized by the school division technology department and success coaches.

Two teams from each elementary school will be compete on the first day followed by one team from each junior and senior high school.

Up to three students are on each team.

Both days start at 10 a.m. and continue to about 1:30 p.m.

Actual competition for elementary teams is set for 10:25 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.

Awards will be presented at 12:55 p.m.

Elementary teams will compete in a round-robin sumo-style competition.

“Their goal will be to either knock their opponent out of the ring or to disable their opponent so that it’s unable to move for a set amount of time,” Klingsch says.

“The students have built and coded the robots on their own using Lego Mindstorms NXT kits.

“They will be demonstrating their design and coding skills.”

Junior and senior high school students will compete in a line race followed by a round-robin sumo-style competition.

“The line race will consist of each robot taking turns following a track as quickly as they can,” Klingsch says.

“If a robot is unable to make it around the track, their distance will be recorded instead.”

The junior/senior high school teams will then participate in a sumo style competition similar to the elementary level competition.

The first Robo Rumble for junior and senior high schools drew seven teams last year.

Several teams that participated last year are returning this year to try and take the trophy from last year’s champions from Georges P. Vanier School in Donnelly.

Robo Rumble is just the start of something new to expand skills of students.

“When planning for the long-term goal of our students competing in Skills Canada Alberta, we selected robotics as the first step in the path to that goal,” Klingsch says.

“Our competition’s guiding principle is “to develop, enhance, encourage interests, skills, and understanding of STEM (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering) and technology careers”.

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