Premier John Horgan (a Reynolds alumnus) stands with the members of the Reynolds Reybots team which won the Rookie All-Star award at the regional FIRST Robotics Competition, March 10, Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. (Submitted)

Student Voice: Reynolds ReyBots qualify for Texas-sized Robot championship

ReyBots robot met premier, ‘dodged’ the competition

– By Logan Kuzyk

After a successful competition at the FIRST Robotics Competition at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre last weekend, the Reynolds ReyBots high school robotics team has qualified for the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas.

The ReyBots had a successful competition at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, talking with judges, playing matches and fixing the robot. The robots also compete in a three-minute “game.” This year’s game featured two “alliances” with three robots on each side depositing dodgeballs, or “cargo,” into receptacles with holes that require hatches to cover them. Victory went to the team that managed to dodge the other robots, place the most balls and climb the highest.

Now the ReyBots are invited to attend the FIRST Championship in Houston, the biggest STEM-related event in the world.

However, the ReyBots haven’t packed their bags yet.

READ MORE: Victoria teams take home awards at FIRST Robotics Competition

With the competition being held April 17 to 20, the school and team have been ramping up their fundraising efforts to realize this extraordinary opportunity. The ReyBots are organizing a bottle drive, selling popcorn over lunch hour and have started a GoFundMe page with hopes that the community will see the benefits of this amazing program and invest in the future of the team.

FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an American organization whose goal is to spread the glory of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The nonprofit organizes multiple robotics competitions for students in kindergarten to Grade 12.

The journey started in the fall when the ReyBots secured the necessary funding to enter FIRST, which is considered the most advanced high school robotics competition. On Jan. 6, the building phase of the competition started and for the next six weeks, the team worked tirelessly designing, building and programming their robot.

The hard work paid off.

By participating in a robotics team, students learn to solve real-life problems like programming, metalworking and more general skills like effectively distributing tasks, following stringent regulations and working in a group.

The Reybots won the Rookie All-Star Award at the FIRST competition which is awarded to a first-year team that achieves FIRST’s mission by exemplifying excellent outreach and community engagement throughout the year. In addition to efforts with the school, the ReyBots went on tour to Selkirk Montessori and Cedar Hill middle school to demonstrate their robot and spread the excitement and benefits of being on the team.

The team’s GoFundMe is available at gofundme.com/support-reynolds-reybots-for-world-championships.

– Logan Kuzyk is a Grade 12 student at Reynolds secondary.

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