Robotics competition teaches kids different life lessons

On Dec. 2, I attended a Lego Robotics competition at the Glendale Campus of Niagara College.

It was necessary for me to show up as I had to witness what my 12-year-old son had been talking non-stop about for the last two months.

He went to school early, stayed late after school, and brought home instructional DVDs that I just had to watch with him.

I saw my son, who likes school a lot, really get worked up over the preparations that he, his 11 teammates, and his coach/mentor/teacher were working so hard at by getting this “robot” of Lego built, programmed and ready to compete.

Boy, was I ever amazed.

Twenty teams, some from as far away as Kingston, competed in head-to-head battles for robotic supremacy, three times just to qualify for the playoffs.

But that’s not all.

Teams had to deliver two presentations on nanotechnology to a panel of judges, requiring extensive research about a topic which some adults have difficulty understanding.

To all the volunteers and sponsors who helped get this competition off the ground and running and to all the teachers, mentors and others who helped and guided the kids in their preparations for this competition, I thank you.

You have helped some bright kids get a taste of friendly competition, showed them that working together really helps and pointed them in the right direction with the message that anything is possible.

Incidentally, Sheridan Park School – my son’s school in St Catharines – placed third and its team is going to the provincial competition in Toronto. Sheridan Park is the only Niagara public school to do this two years in a row.

If the team wins, it goes to Atlanta in the spring to compete at the World Lego Robotics Championships to be held at the Georgia Dome.

Go Hawks.