A team of high school students from Bryne Creek Community School recently competed in the FIRST Robotics competition held in Victoria, BC. The competition challenges students to build and program robots of up to 125 pounds to compete against other robotic teams in a simulated repair mission.
Bryne Creek teacher Duncan McDonald describes the competition as “This is the Olympics of smart”. “There is no larger competition for high school students.” At the BC regional, 36 teams competed with some coming from as far away as New Zealand.
Students were tasked with building the robot in a six-week time frame, with strict rules and limited resources. The Bryne Creek team was comprised of 10 students, with a number of local volunteers and mentors also making significant contributions.
Volunteers included tech ed teacher Ed Cook and Duncan McDonald, science teacher Ash Vince, a Red Seal metal fabricator teaching aluminium TIG welding, a retired software engineer, and a BCIT civil engineering student who showed the high school students how to prototype their project.
The team dubbed The Creekside Voyagers met every day after school for six weeks to work on the robot. The result was a 60-pound robot meant to simulate tasks that would be completed during a Mars repair mission. The Bryne Creek Robot was fitted with a functional robotic arm, six wheels, four motors and wifi camera system to allow out of site navigation.
Despite being a rookie team, the Creekside Voyagers placed 28th out of 50 teams, a great success for a first-time entry. Looking to next year the team as sparked great interest in the school, proudly displaying their robot during test runs around Bryne Creek. Students seeking to participate in next year’s competition can visit the Creekside Voyagers website for more details and contact information.