How many cookies does it take build a robot?
Stumped? Better give ADLC students Kadin Morritt and Rhys Racine a call.
What began as a summer robotics course for the 12-year olds, quickly turned into a lesson in fundraising, teamwork, and competition. To start, the boys had to buy a robotics kit. Beginner kits cost between $1,000 – $5,000, which is a problem when you’re too young to have a job. The solution? The boys organized a bake sale in their home town of Vermillion.
The dedicated 12-year-olds raised enough to purchase a competition kit, and even had extra money they donated to a Vermillion woman undergoing cancer treatments.
While Kadin and Rhys’ passion for robotics jump-started this initiative, they could not have done it without the support of Kadin’s father, who has a background in IT, as well as Phoebe Arcilla—ADLC Math and Robotics Teacher—who was instrumental in encouraging the boys to challenge themselves and compete provincially.
“VEX was the most familiar of platforms to me so I suggested they take a look,” said Phoebe about VEX, a non-profit organization that works to promote robotics and engineering through high school robotics competitions. “I gave them the link to the VEX Competition to strive for in the future. We did research together on designs for the competition and built a competition-ready robot with the programming.”
With Phoebe’s help, Kadin and Rhys, who call themselves the Baking Robots, attempted a practice competition in November 2014 where they won the VEX Driving Skills trophy. Bolstered by their success, they entered the Alberta Provincial VEX Championship Skyrise Challenge at NAIT, which took place only three months later in February 2015.
“They did so well in their own right against 37 high school teams, it was amazing to see these boys in action,” said Phoebe. “They placed fourth overall out of 37 teams with a designation of second place overall in programming skills and third place overall in driving skills. They also won the Amaze trophy for their programming skills.”
The Baking Robots team has received a lot of publicity due to their status as young students in a high school competition, and have been invited to represent Alberta at the Nationals in British Columbia, as well as the Worlds in Kentucky, U.S.A.
“It would be great to help sponsor these amazing brains to get them to the Worlds Competition in Kentucky and the National Competition in BC at BCIT in Burnaby,” said Phoebe. “If you can, please sponsor this team or pass this on to your community and help spread the word.”
If you’re interested in sponsoring Kadin and Rhys, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.