Prince Rupert’s elementary school students put their coding and logic skills to the test in the Sphero Olympics on June 14. The robotics competition took place at Roosevelt Park Elementary School. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Robots take over Roosevelt Elementary School for programming competition

Grade 4 and 5 students used iPads and block coding to put their logic skills to the test

As robots rolled around the floor, Prince Rupert’s Grade 4 and 5 sharpened their logic and coding skills — controllers in hand — on June 14 for the city’s first ever Sphero Olympics robotics competition.

READ MORE: North Coast teachers learn the language of technology

Approximately 35 students gathered in Roosevelt Park Elementary School’s gymnasium where they worked in teams to program spherical robots called Spheros. The teams then competed to accomplish tasks such as navigating a maze, jumping over ramps and playing soccer.

Andrew Samoil, director of instruction with School District 52 (SD52), said the teams were able to program the Spheros using their iPads, which they used to control the Spheros’s colours angle of direction and speed.

“To the outsider, it may look like they’re just playing with little balls,” he said. “But every move the ball makes, they’ve had to program it, and it forces them to use logic and problem-solving skills.”

The afternoon was organized as a part of the new provincial curriculum that is putting an emphasis on applied skills and technology. This approach places a high priority on STEM skills and thought processes that enable students to solve the complex technical tasks they will encounter in the modern workplace.

READ MORE: RTI donates $138,500 for robotics in the school district

“They have a task, we give them the tools they’ll need to solve it, and we put them into teams because they’ll have to learn how to work in that environment,” said Samoil. “We know there are a lot of opportunities for students who know how to code.”

Paramjit Khaira, vice-principal of innovation and technology for SD52, said the school district plans to expand the competition next year to include both Prince Rupert Middle School and Charles Hays Secondary School. If those schools are included, he said they will be given more sophisticated robots to program and more complex tasks to complete.

“It’s the future,” Khaira said. “Students need to learn right from the grassroots, right from the beginning and it will build their skills.”



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read