Notre Dame Du Sault and iSMAK Take Top Honours at Robotics Challenge


This past Saturday saw 42 elementary robotics teams from across Algoma compete in the largest VEX IQ Robotics qualifying event in Canada.

Over 200 students, mentors, volunteers and fans packed the Sault College Health & Wellness Center for a day of robotics action. Teams competed in the 2018-2019 VEX IQ Challenge Next Level.

In this game, students are challenged to design, build, and program their robots to attain the highest score by scoring and stacking colored hubs in building zones, removing bonus hubs from the hanging structure, and by parking or hanging on the hanging bar.

At the middle school level, Norte Dame du Sault’s team NDS Alpha earned the Excellence Award, as best overall middle school team. They also received the STEM Research Project Award, a second place in the Robot Skills Challenges and were part of second place tournament alliance.

At the elementary school level, the independent team, iSMAK earned the Excellence Award, along with Teamwork Championship as co-winners of the tournament and the Energy Award. They also took the Robot Skills Championship, with a score of 48, currently leaving them ranked 1st in the world for programming skills.

FH Clergue’s Voyagers made up the other half of the Teamwork Championship alliance and also claimed the judges choice for the Amaze Award.


Notre Dame du Sault’s team NDS Beta claimed the Design Award, providing evidence of a great effort throughout the year through their engineering notebook and judges interview.

The Clergue Voyagers, iSMAK, NDS Alpha and NDS Beta have all earned spots at the VEX IQ Provincial Championships in Brampton on March 2nd.

“The best part for me is seeing the growth that the student’s undertake between their first meeting and competition day,” said Daniel Sauve, mentor of the White Pines team and a 9 year veteran of robotics. “Not only is there growth in critical thinking skills, but also in team work. On competition day, half the game is about team work. Watching students talking and strategizing with the other teams is always an enjoyable aspect in mentoring, not to mention observing all the problem solving students have to do to produce a competitive robot.”

Additional awards were handed out to the following teams: St Basil – member of the Tournament 2nd place alliance, Build Award and Sportsmanship Award; The Billy Goats (Superior Heights) – Create Award; Annabiotics (Anna McCrea) – Judges Award.

For full results you can visit:

If you or your child is interested in becoming involved with the local VEX Robotics program, speak with your school principal or contact Mark Carlucci at [email protected].