Central Okanagan students show off their robotics knowledge at SumoBots competition

Student SumoBot showcase

Cindy White

The gym at the Hollywood Road Education Services building was teeming with activity Thursday. About 180 students aged 9 to 14 watched their Lego Mindstorms robots face off in the SumoBot ring.

It’s a great exercise in teamwork, problem solving and perseverance.

“There’s lots of challenges in terms of getting your code, creating your code, coming up with a strategy, a successful strategy to make your bot stay in the ring. They have to code their robot to stay in the ring, at the same time seek out their competition and try and push them out of the ring,” explained Tobias Blaskovits, STEAM Learning Technology Consultant for Central Okanagan Public Schools.

He says there’s a lot of trial and error involved.

"We kind of started doing the basics, and it didn’t really work. So, we tried something else. Overall, it’s pretty good,” said Charlotte, who was there with teammate Coralee, representing South Kelowna Elementary school.

The Mount Boucherie Bears robotics team was on hand to help guide the younger students. They made school history earlier this year, finishing second at the First Robotics BC Pacific Regional competition in Victoria against more than 30 other teams.

“They’re here to support and referee the event and support these younger students hopefully one day coming into high school interest in coding and robotics,” said Baskovits.

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