Lego and robots at Yukon’s first Robotics Challenge

Elementary school students from four Whitehorse schools took part in the territory’s first ever Robotics Challenge yesterday.
CBC reporter Dave Croft was at the first ever Robotics Challenge in Whitehorse. 1:04

Students from four Whitehorse elementary schools spent the past few months building and programming robots.

Yesterday was show time, at the territory’s first ever Robotics Challenge.

“The goals of the task were to promote teamwork, cooperation, friendly competition,” says Laura Markle, executive director of the Association of Professional Engineers of Yukon. “And one of the really neat things about that part of the opportunity is for one group to assist another group.”

The students had to get their robots to perform a number of tasks. Some went well, some didn't.

Once the students were done they had to explain and defend what they did and how they did it before a panel of engineers.

Many of the students took up the challenge involved.

Grade six student Maren Biksky from Elijah Smith school says it wouldn't be fun if there wasn't a challenge.

“It took us about two weeks to build this one,” says Bilsky. “So when you're in the programming you'd have to go to the library, but it's like you're programming it blind because you're not sure really what's going to happen.”

Bilsky's teacher says this first ever event was a big success.

She says the kids were having so much fun they didn't even realize they were learning something.

“My students have been very, very,very excited about this project over the last six weeks,” says Jill Potter. “And no tears today, so that's a good sign and they've been aceing most of their tests, they've having a blast.”

Potter says this type of project based learning is going to become a much bigger thing in Yukon schools and she says that's a good thing.

She says the students are much more engaged when they're passionate about their subject.