The Catholic School Division’s robotics teams are getting ready for another season of competition. After achieving success last year with two teams making it to the VEX World Championships in Robotics, the program is gearing up for their first tournament of the year, which will be held at Father Mercredi on November 25.
According to Holly Kalma, the program coach, this season will be a bit of a rebranding year for the teams as many student competitors have graduated. However, the program has a strong track record of sending alumni into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). “Over the past several years, almost all of our robotics alumni have gone into a STEM field,” Kalma says. Two graduates have pursued engineering at the University of Calgary, while another is studying robotics and engineering at the University of Toronto.
This year’s competition is called “Over Under.” The students are tasked with designing and building a functional chassis for their robot, as well as creating tools that allow the robot to complete the required tasks in the games. Coach Kalma mentions that aside from the challenges of building great robots, there is also the issue of funding the construction and travel expenses. To address this, the teams have set fundraising goals, including hosting a market in October at Father Mercredi.
Coach Tom MacIsaac shares that their main goal this season is to make it to the provincials. Looking ahead, he hopes that the teams can return to the World Championships in the spring of 2024.
– The Catholic School Division Robotics Program Coach, Holly Kalma
– Coach Tom MacIsaac