There was much fun and some serious gladiator-ship to be had this past weekend at the Selkirk College GLOWS RoboGames on Saturday, April 28 at the Castlegar Campus.
Technology-fueled fun and free-spirited youth innovation was the name of the game. With a simple robot kit and some big imagination, 55 participants in 39 teams designed and built competitors for events such as Obstacle Course, Robot Soccer and Balloon Popping. It was a day full of excitement and camaraderie.
Brian Malito, a Grade 12 student from J L Crowe Secondary School in Trail, has competed in four RoboGames including the first one held in Nelson in 2010.
“I got interested in robotics because of the idea that people could make non-living objects move,” Malito says, looking back to his early days of robotics. “I found it so fascinating and I also had an interest in programming and wanted to know more.”
Brad Pommen, MIDAS Fab Lab Director and Nelson Tech Club founder who enthusiastically brought RoboGames to the Kootenay-Boundary region directed events. As in years past, he offered support and guidance in preparation for the games, providing online sessions kids were able to follow at their own pace.
“RoboGames is designed to promote science and technology learning among our young community members by making science and technology fun, accessible and non-intimidating,” Pommen says. “It’s been incredibly fun for me as well. Seeing youth enthusiasm for robotics, something I’ve been interested in for so long, grow is completely rewarding. I also love seeing new ideas come forward every year.”
RoboGames is designed to promote science and technology learning among youth by making it accessible and fun, using robotics to help to minimize the intimidation factor.
“Technology surrounds us every day, and understanding how it works—that it is not simply magic—can be very empowering and influence everyone, but most especially youth, in amazing ways.” states Pommen. “When you make technology fun, accessible and non-intimidating, we are enhancing community vitality and sustainability to everyone with a curiosity and presenting it in a way that traditional educational models cannot address. ”
This was the sixth annual event. Learn more at selkirk.ca/robogames
Photos courtesy Selkirk College GLOWS.