SURREY — It was Lego paradise at North Surrey Secondary school on Sunday.
The school hosted a FIRST Lego league championship tournament, featuring kindergartners all the way up to high school students in robotics.
North Surrey Secondary students have immersed themselves in robotics and FIRST programs since teachers and students created Hephaestus robotics in 2016. The team competes under the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, which features 400,000 robotics students from around the globe.
Career development facilitator Julie Occleshaw was expecting about 200 students to show up to the event on Sunday. When the event was all said and done, there were more than 500 participants from 19 schools.
“We couldn’t have hoped for a better turnout,” said Occleshaw by email.
The school expanded their reach this year by introducing a FIRST Lego League Jr. Expo as part of Sunday’s event. There were seven teams with students from kindergarten to grade four. They worked on ‘show me’ project posters based on the ‘Aqua Adventure’ theme for this year.
“The future is really inspiring when you see these your children taking on these real-world challenges with such enthusiasm,” said Occleshaw.
Older teams participating designed autonomous robots that worked on transporting, using or disposing water based on the theme of ‘hydrodynamics.’
Their FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team is now gearing up for this year’s game challenge launch on Jan. 6 after NASA reveals the details of the “Power Up” season challenge for FRC. The team will be given six weeks to develop a competition-ready robot in a regional event that will be held in B.C. for the first time.
The event is called the Canadian Pacific Regional and will take place in Victoria at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre from March 13 to 16, 2018.
The top teams will travel to Houston later in the year to compete at the world championships.
If anyone is interested in starting a FIRST Lego League Jr. team, or a FIRST Lego League team they can visit www.Hephaestus6390.com