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.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

‘Tis the season for giving and auctioning in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society and Church of Christ the King raising money for their kids

Prince Rupert wooed by Hometown Hockey, going over the top to answer the call

City is excited to showcase Prince Rupert’s livability — and hockey fandom — on the national stage

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Gitga’at and LNG Canada announce new Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility in Hartley Bay

LNG Canada providing financial support as committed in 2014 Impact Mitigation and Benefit Agreement

WATCH: Jingle Boat, Jingle Boat, jingle all the way

Santa Claus visited the kids of Prince Rupert on the Inside Passage

The Northern View presents Santa Shops Here in Prince Rupert

More reasons to spend your shopping dollars locally

B.C. boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Most Read