By Nadiya Scratchley
Imagine this: nuts and bolts flying everywhere, robots dashing around playing fields, teens with controllers holding their breath until the final second of the game; this is the kind of action that went down at British Columbia's first VEX robotics qualifier of the season, hosted by Alpha Secondary. On October 14th 2017, 44 teams gathered in the large gym for a chance to show off their mechanical creations and technical abilities. The competitors came from all corners of BC, ranging from the Kootenays to Vancouver Island.
The day started off at 7:00am, when the doors opened and competitors started filling the large gym with 18’’ robots. After the opening ceremonies at 9:00am, where schedules were handed out and the national anthem was sung, the games began. This years game was called “In the Zone”, and the objective was to stack cones and move them into different zones of the 12’ by 12’ playing field. During each round, four robots were on the field at a time, paired up against each other. Each robot was controlled by a driver, and the rest of the team shouted out commands. There were a total of 66 rounds, lasting until 2pm when the top 16 teams were chosen to compete in the finals for a chance to get into the provincials.
Much to Alpha’s delight, one of our home teams 502A was up in 7th place. West Vancouver’s team 1010X and Gladstone’s team 2A ended up winning the finals and being selected for provincials. However, Alpha still has many chances to qualify for provincials as qualifiers are being held throughout BC every 2-3 weeks. We wish our robotics team the best of luck!