Hoya Robotics aims to build competition-winning robot in just six weeks


Could you build a robot in six weeks? The Hoya Robotics team at Huntsville High School (HHS) can.

On Saturday, January 6, Hoya Robotics hosted three high schools at the school’s library for a meet up and mentor session, and to watch the reveal for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition. (See the game animation at the end of this post.)

The 23-student team, led by teacher Ian McTavish, invited robotics clubs from Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Haliburton to learn about robotics and hopefully inspire them to continue building teams of their own.

“We had a student from Gravenhurst that was interested in what our team does and soon after that we had even more students and teachers looking into robotics teams, too,” said HHS team co-captain, Keira Brisebois. “Now that our team is the ‘parent team’ as we joke, we will be in contact with the other teams from the session to help with problems and share ideas and advice.”

Mentorship and promotion of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is an inherent part of the international FIRST robotics programs which aim to “inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators.” This year’s series of competitions will include 3,600 comprising 90,000 students from around the world! And by participating in the FIRST robotics competition, students are eligible to apply for more than $50 million in scholarships from nearly 200 colleges and universities.

All teams will have just six weeks to study, build and complete their robot in time for competition. This year’s competition is not a fight, but a competitive strategy game where students control robots in a race against their opponents to collect points.

What’s next for the Hoya Robotics team? These next six weeks will be spent working hard building their robot and getting ready to compete. The students will then be competing at Georgian College in Barrie in early March and at Nippissing University in North Bay at the end of March. If successful, they move on to provincials with an end goal of competing at the world championship.

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