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VEX Super Saturday – Playing with Toys in the Big Leagues!

Dec 11, 2014

VEX Super Saturday – Playing with Toys in the Big Leagues!

DSC_0113.JPGLots of elementary students still play with building toys, but not all of them can say they build remote-controlled robots to battle it out in an epic competition! Students in Halton District School Board have the opportunity to take part in the VEX Robots program, and on December 6, 2014, 400 grade 6-8 students converged on M.M. Robinson High School for the VEX Super Saturday Championship.

This year’s challenge, “Swept Away,” kept students on their toes for the entire match – the goal was to get balls onto the other’s team’s side, and the points weren’t counted until time ran out! The room was buzzing with excitement as teams competed in qualifiers while also scouting the competition for potential partners for the upcoming Alliance rounds. Their coaches, many of them elementary teachers with no prior experience in robotics, watched anxiously to see which teams would advance to the finals, and experienced members of Halton’s FIRST Robotics teams volunteered their time to keep the competition running smoothly.

One of the biggest challenges in technological education is getting female students interested in these typically male-dominated fields. Halton’s elementary robotics programs encourage girls to get involved in the tech fields from a young age, building their confidence and breaking down stereotypes before they reach high school. This year’s VEX competition saw about one-third of the teams led by female captains and included several all-girl teams.

Grade 7 students Meagan, Simone, Alysia, and Emily, from Irma Coulson Public School in Milton, were competing for their second year. They prefer being an all-girls team because sometimes, “boys want to take over and you don’t get to do anything.” All four agreed that before VEX they were intimidated by “shop,” but after this experience, they would definitely look into taking tech courses in high school – and considering how confidently they described building and modifying their robot, there’s no doubt that they would excel!






Karyn Pickles

Tags: Robotics
Category: HDSB

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