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What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

December 2: Lo-Ellen Park hosts FIRST Robotics Tech Challenge

It’s billed as “the hardest fun you’ll ever have” and it’s coming back to Sudbury this weekend. For the second consecutive year, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School will host the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifier. This year’s event, CENTERSTAGE, will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

The full-day tournament-style competition, presented by Raytheon Technologies, will bring together 17 teams from across the province, including Sudbury, North Bay and the Greater Toronto area. There will be eight teams from Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, two from Lively District Secondary School and one from Confederation Secondary School. Students from the Manitoulin Secondary School robotics team will be volunteering at the event.

Students, staff, alumni, community partners, and members of FIRST Robotics Canada, including Program Manager Lisa Ramraj, will be in attendance. Spectators are welcome to watch the action in the Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School gymnasium.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions engage students in the field of STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – with a focus on innovation and idea sharing. In the process, students hone important life skills such as co-operation, communication, leadership, self-confidence and teamwork.

For CENTERSTAGE, teams have been tasked to design, build, program and operate robots in a series of challenges. To earn points, robots must travel through a 12-foot square playing field to access coloured pixels located on a front field wall.

Matches have two periods of play – a 30-second autonomous period followed by a two-minute driver-controlled period. The last 30 seconds, or the end game, will add new scoring opportunities for the robots. Points are allocated based on the location of the robot and the pixels.

Judges will interview teams and will present awards in various categories – compass, connect, control, design, innovate, inspire, motivate, and think – each with distinct criteria. Three teams will be selected to advance to the provincial championships in April 2024 in Mississauga.

“The FIRST Robotics Challenge presents the perfect opportunity for students to apply skills they’ve learned in the classroom,” said Rainbow District School Board Director of Education Bruce Bourget. “We are very grateful to the staff organizers, mentors and sponsors, and we offer our best wishes to all teams.”

Dan Monti, Tournament Director and Program Leader of Technology Studies at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, extended his appreciation to all those who have helped make this event possible. “This is the second time the qualifier takes place in Sudbury, and it’s quite an undertaking,” he said. “We really could not have done it without the support of our mentors and sponsors.”

Event sponsors include Ionic Mechatronics, Lopes, Manitoulin Transport, Equipment North, CCM Group, J&J Minerals, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School SHSM, Hatch, Hard Line Solutions, Duplicators Printing & Copy Centre, 3rd Line Studio, SRK Consulting, Gene Haas Foundation, Royal Bank of Canada, GM Canada, Lakeside Process Controls and Tron Industries.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

7 am Arrival
7:30 am to 10 am Formal judging and robot inspections
8 am Practice matches
9:45 am Drivers meeting
10 am Opening ceremonies
10:15 am Qualification matches begin
12 pm to 1 pm Lunch
1 pm to 3:25 pm Matches resume
3:30 pm Alliance selection begins
4 pm Semi-finals
5 pm Finals
5:15 pm Closing ceremonies
6 pm Wrap-up

Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School is located at 275 Loach’s Road in Sudbury.

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Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171 ext. 7217