Students from Smithers problem solve during the Lego Robotics Challenge. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Third annual Lego Robotics challenge held in Vanderhoof

Technology is going to be a big part of our students’ futures, says elementary school teacher

Technology is going to play a big part in the future and our elementary schools are preparing students for it.

W.L. McLeod held their third annual Lego Robotic Challenge, where elementary school students design robots to perform tasks. The challenge held Jan. 16 had participants from Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Smithers.

Students are given a platform board, which has various challenges, and then participants have to problem-solve a build a robot to overcome those hurdles.

The theme for the board this year was City Shapers, explained Maria Devauld, main organizer of the event.

Students have robotics programs in their curriculum, and Devauld says, “Coding has become a big thing and a lot of times it is abstract, and students don’t see it. But when you include a robot into it, they actually get to see what they are coding.”

Students are given a base design before the challenge and then they have to build their robot on the spot.

“There are computing techniques with coding that students are going to be using in the future, take for instance doctors,” says Dionne Ellis, support worker and robotics program teacher at W.L. McLeod Elementary school.

“The robot they build, stems from their own imagination. And it allows them to discover and keep pushing through the program. The kids love it,” Ellis added.

Meanwhile, Devauld said W.L. McLeod is hoping to qualify for next year’s Lego leagues, so they will be adding a project component to the annual robotics challenge.

But for students who just want to participate in the scrimmage, that will still be available, she added.

The event is supported by Community Futures Stuart-Nechako.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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(Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

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