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Four TDSB schools to compete at robotics world championships

Four TDSB schools to compete at robotics world championships

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Four TDSB schools are set to compete at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) World Championships in St Louis, April 27 to 30 after qualifying at regional events earlier this year. North Albion CI, Riverdale CI, Runnymede CI, and Westview Centennial SS will carry the TDSB banner following strong performances at the qualifiers.

A number of TDSB FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams participated at one or more of the five regional tournaments held across the province, facing off against the best teams from across Ontario, Quebec and the US. The exciting, multi-day events showcased robots designed and built by these teams. Leading up to competition, teams had six weeks to design, build and program their robots to perform tasks on a themed playing field. Two alliances, each consisting of three robots, then competed against one another by manipulating game pieces on the playing field to earn points during 2.5 minute matches.  In this year’s medieval-themed game, robots scored points by breaching their opponents’ fortifications, weakening their tower with boulders, and capturing the opposing tower. 

The tournament held in Toronto at Ryerson University on March 3-5 featured TDSB teams delivering some impressive scores during the qualification matches, earning five squads a spot in the playoffs.  As winners of the “Rookie All-Star” award, which celebrates the rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology, the team from Riverdale CI earned an invitation to compete at the world championships in St. Louis. 

Eight more FRC teams from the TDSB competed at the tournament in Oshawa on March 10-12. “This was considered to be perhaps the most difficult regional in the world due to the roster of teams at the event, which included five former world champions” said TDSB robotics program administrator Annika Pint.  The teams from Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI, North Albion CI and Cedarbrae CI  earned a spot in the playoffs following remarkable performances during the qualification round.  “In a twist of fate, the team from Westview Centennial also competed in the playoffs when their team was promoted from standby to the first place alliance," noted Pint. They went on to not only help their alliance win the competition with their defensive prowess but to score a world record in the finals." As regional winners, the Westview Gearheads, along with the regional finalist from North Albion CI, qualified to compete at the world championships in St. Louis for the first time in their teams' history.

North Albion CI looked to repeat its strong performance, joining teams from Runnymede CI, Woburn CI, Etobicoke CI, and Western Technical-Commercial School as they made the long journey to North Bay for the tournament at Nipissing University on March 24-26.  The teams from Runnymede CI and North Albion CI performed well in both the qualification and playoff rounds and earned a first-place finish at the competition.  North Albion CI has competed for the past seven years but heads to the worlds for their first time ever, buoyed by two top-notch performances. The team from Runnymede CI, recipient of the “Industrial Design” award, which celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge, is the fourth and final TDSB team to qualify for the world championships. Runnymede is a veteran squad on the world stage, having qualified for the previous three years.

The team from Western Technical-Commercial School earned a spot in the quarter-finals at the Waterloo regional held April 7 to 9, and the team from Victoria Park CI won the “Gracious Professionalism” award at the Windsor Essex Great Lakes regional, where they competed alongside the impressive rookie team from Bloor CI

“All of our teams deserve congratulations for their hard work throughout the season and for the way in which they represented the TDSB at these events,” said Pint.  

You can watch the TDSB teams competing at the championship via webcast , and keep track of match results online or on Twitter, using the hashtag #omgrobots.

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