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Local high school represents at robotics world championship

In this Following Up, we check in on the Lourdes robotics team as they move on to the world championships

A Guelph high school is taking on the world this week.

The Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School’s robotics team headed to Houston this week to take part in the 2023 FIRST Robotics World Championship.

The event runs Wednesday to Saturday.

Twelve of the 22 members of the team, officially named BeaverworX, Team 2609 of FIRST Robotics, flew to Houston to see how their fondly named robot, The Road Runner, ranks against 600 teams from all over the world.

BeaverworX provides opportunities for students from all over our district to participate in competitive events and showcase their skills in creative and challenging events. Students learn career skills in engineering, design, math, and computer science and are inspired by professional industry mentors and First Robotics Canada (FRC) alumni who are dedicated to fostering an educative and meaningful atmosphere, said a press release from the Wellington Catholic District School Board.

Mike Moore, founder and lead instructor of BeaverworX, had high praise for his team.

“It’s pretty amazing what we have done this year” he said in the release.

“Last year was our best year, and this year is even better. We have been able to put more into it this year and have done a lot of preseason work to build the skills of this team.”

The success of this team is in credit to the veteran members it had return. Among those who have returned are Justina Madrid, outreach coordinator, and Aydan Boynton, programmer and operator.

“We have more organization skills and experience, and our robot is more durable,” added Boynton. “Now the team knows each other more now; we are building momentum with the skills.”

As programmer and operator, Boynton is responsible for programming the robot to translate instructions. So, when Dominik Wrobel, the driver and team captain, tells the robot to move forward, climb or throw objects, the robot interprets the commands and responds accordingly.

The team was ranked 13th in the province before placing fourth in district championships at FIRST Robotics events hosted at the University of Waterloo and McMaster University.

The team is confident in their robots’ capabilities heading into worlds.

“We have made the robot much more reliable,” explained Boynton. “We made it through McMaster with no significant technical issues, we had quite a bit in District Champs, but we were able to fix them, which was nice. Our programming improved over last year - it works much, much better.”

To follow along and cheer on BeaverworX as they compete against the best teams in the world, please visit this website or tune into the 2023 FIRST Championship livestream.