Registration is now open for RoboGames 2017. Open to youth ages 6 to 18 from around the West Kootenay/Boundary, it is the fifth year of the ever popular and growing event. At this RoboGames, it’s expected that 150 youth will participate, twice as many as in 2016.
“People like to build robots. They like to be able to explore the technology without walls around to restrict them,” says Brad Pommen, Nelson Tech Club President and organizer. “They’re the ones in the driver’s seat and as mentors, we then help them realize that.”
Ava David (right) and Ava Schleppe work on building and programming a robot at a GLOWS coding camp held last summer. Register now for a spot in the 2017 RoboGames where you will get the chance to build and train your own robot to enter into competition in April.
To help reach more youth from around the region, Pommen developed web tutorials for turning the provided robotics kit into a battling machine. Online robotics training follows to help participants prepare for the April 29 RoboGames event held in Castlegar. This more central location also makes RoboGames more accessible.
With such incredible growth from RoboGames’ first year when 24 people formed six teams, it became important to maintain support to grow enthusiasm.
“Many see the RoboGames event as what this is all about but really, it’s about building interest in technology and a network of support that goes year-round,” says Pommen.
Selkirk College inspires lifelong learning and that begins with youth. Encouraging young people throughout our region to pursue their interests, Selkirk College ensures learning is authentic, inspiring, rewarding and relevant.
The Nelson Tech Club is a community organization for technology enthusiasts who gather to share ideas, knowledge, resources and opinions in a friendly and collaborative atmosphere. The club has over 450 youth and adult members and meets weekly at space donated by Selkirk College in Nelson.
Growing Learning Opportunities With Science or GLOWS has been offering community-based science programming since 2007. Program Coordinator Beth Corven says RoboGames is an important event for the organization.
“Our region is moving into the middle of the 21st Century. Enhancing the technical knowledge and experience of our children will increase future social and economic vitality and sustainability,” she says. “Selkirk’s GLOWS program is a crucial support for our region’s young people as they experience and enjoy scientific and technical learning and move towards educational and career goals in Science, Technology, Trades, Engineering, Arts and Math (STTEAM).”
While previous years have focused on younger entrants, this year's event is introducing tiered events, including a new high school category for students ready to compete at a higher level. Participants will be able to design, build and program robots using computer science, coding and robotics kits.
Sign up for RoboGames at selkirk.ca/robogames and learn more about guidelines for participating. Teams of up to two people will purchase a robotics kit for $100. There is a $20 per person registration fee. Registration closes February 28 so don’t delay.