Robotics71 teams off to World Championships

Three Comox Valley Schools’ Robotics71 teams are off to the Vex Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas this April after very successful performances at the Island Regionals. Congratulations to teams 7842X, 7842P and 7842F for advancing to the world stage!

Capping a long season of competitions spanning from October until March, the Vancouver Island Regional Championships took place Saturday, March 4 at Brentwood College School. The challenge this year was called Spin Up, a robot version of frisbee golf, in which robots pick up palm-sized discs and fling them into an elevated net.

Robotics71 Team 7842X consisting of Nicholas Horel (Vanier) and Reese Schroeder (Highland), and Team 7842P’s Elliott Patterson (Vanier) and Zander Hole (NIDES) won the 40-team tournament as alliance partners. 7842X also won the Robot Skills Challenge and is ranked 143 in the world as of the end of the season.

Team 7842F, a team of Grade 9’s consisting of Timothy Sterk (Highland), Zane Radawiec (Isfeld), Franklin Warren (Highland) and Eric Wunderlich (Isfeld) also won a berth to the world championships as the top middle school “excellence” winners – finishing the season with a ranking of 86 in the world in the middle schools skills challenge.

Robotics71 coach/teacher Ryan Buchanan was very excited saying, “we have an amazing group of students who have spent many long nights over the past 10 months building, coding and testing their robots. It’s great to see their hard work and dedication pay off and I’m really proud to see our local teams represent Vancouver Island at the VEX Robotics World Championships.”

Robotics71 is a district-wide program offered to Comox Valley Schools students from all secondary and middle schools.

“Each year the Robotics71 program continues to produce brilliant engineering & robotics students who are very competitive on the national and world stage,” said Steve Claassen, Vancouver Island Vex Robotics organizer and Comox Valley Schools Careers Coordinator. “The success of these students is a testament to the teachers of SD 71’s ENTER programs, physics, engineering, electronics, and robotics classes – and the Creative Collective and Makerspaces in our schools.” Claassen also notes the vital role parents play in Robotics71 success with most events falling on weekends and requiring travel.

Vex Robotics is a worldwide competition with 11,500 teams in 40 different countries participating in over 750 tournaments.  The culmination of the season brings 800 of the top teams together from across these 40 countries to Dallas, Texas to eventually find the Vex Robotics World Champion.