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Robot tournament comes to Okanagan College

Walter Chung (left) and Desmond Cheung strategically place a beanbag on their robot during the Vex Robotics Competition Saturday at Okanagan College. The competition was the first event the Pacific Youth Robotics Society has held in the B.C. interior.
Walter Chung (left) and Desmond Cheung strategically place a beanbag on their robot during the Vex Robotics Competition Saturday at Okanagan College. The competition was the first event the Pacific Youth Robotics Society has held in the B.C. interior. 'It's great to have it in Kelowna,' said Summerland Secondary teacher Nick Kast. 'It's something I hope will catch on in a bigger way in this region.'
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

About 80 high school students took part in the Vex Robotics Competition at Okanagan College Saturday.

The tournament was the first time the Pacific Youth Robotics Society has held a tournament for high school level robotics enthusiasts in the B.C. interior.

Okanagan College hosted the event as part of its efforts to encourage more high school students and their parents to consider education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math, explained Vladimir Neykov, a professor in the college's mechanical engineering technologies department, which helped coordinate the event.

The students and their robots competed on a 12-foot by 12-foot field in a game called sack attack. It involved independent and manipulated robot activity where teams scored points by putting beanbags in elevated troughs.

While the focus was on having students address the technological challenge using mechanical, electronic and programming skills, it's much more than that, said Lance Balcom, president of PYRS.

"It's a challenge that forces them to work together as a team, to articulate complicated ideas and hear those of others, and build a superior technical solution together," said Balcom.

 

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