Local Robotics students earn an Invitation to the World Championships.

The Lone Wolf team (on left) drive hard with their alliance partners (Discobots) go on to defeat their opponents in their tie-breaker Quarter-Final playoff match - photos Mark Bariciak

Four district secondary school teams descended on St. Catharines for the Ontario Provincial VEX Robotics Championships to compete in the 65-team event and try to earn qualifying invitations to the annual VEX World Robotics Championships. These teams, who qualified during the local Sault College Qualifying event in December, faced off against the top qualifiers from 12 regional events throughout the season.

The district of Algoma was well represented, with teams from Korah Collegiate (“Smitty W”), St. Mary’s Collegiate (“Knights and Bolts”), Wawa’s Michipicoten High School (“The Big Vikings”) and a Sault independent team (“Lone Wolf Robotics”) competing in Skills Challenges, Team Matches, and Engineering and Design judging categories.

Tiana, Tia and Zach and their award-winning robot pose with their trophy and their invitation to Worlds. – – photos by Mark Bariciak

In The Skills Challenge event, where teams take part in solo-robot 60-second driver and programming challenges, Lone Wolf finished 5th overall, while The Big Vikings managed a 32nd place finish.  In the team 2-vs-2 robot game matches, the round-robin matches saw the Lone Wolf team end the day in 4th place, and became an Alliance Captain for the playoff draft. The Knights & Bolts ended up in 28th, the Big Vikings finished 34th and Smitty W ended up in 61st, and none were chosen for the playoffs.

In a very exciting Playoff afternoon, Lone Wolf chose two alliance partners from Brampton and St. Catharines, and managed to make it to the Semi-Finals, where they were forced to a tie-breaker match but lost a very exciting 100-85 match, missing their chance to compete in the Finals.  However, Lone-Wolf’s day would end with the event’s major judging award, the “Design Award”, which is awarded to the team with the best evidence of strong Engineering principals and process and well documented designs.  Lone Wolf has earned their invitation to the World Championships, and is currently ranked 3rd in Canada and 12th in the World (of nearly 4000 teams who participated in the Skills Challenge events.).

This is the Lone Wolf team’s second consecutive trip to the World’s, which will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on April 25th to 28th.  Lone Wolf made it to the Semi-Finals in the World Championships last year, finishing their year ranked 19th out of more than 6000 teams in their age division.

Team members Tia Bariciak, Tiana Bressan and Zach Nott accept their Design Award after a long day of competition and judging – photo by Mark Bariciak

The Elementary School VEX IQ Provincials takes place this weekend, where 11 Algoma teams will join another 60 Ontario teams and compete to also earn their place in the World event.  League information can be had by contacting Jonathan Budau at [email protected] or follow us onwww.facebook.com