Tech savvy tested

2018-09-12 06:01

A total of 29 teams of schools from all over the province came together to participate in the very first Northern Cape Regional World Robot Olympiad (WRO) using Lego Education sets and coding platforms.

This competition aims to deve­lop creativity, and design and problem-solving skills in children.

This took place at the Carnarvon High School on 18 August, where teams of two to three learners were given two and a half hours to rebuild robots that they had designed and created before.

Teams were also allowed to bring their programming to the event.

Each team member was allocated a certain section of the robot, to ensure it works; they were also given two rounds of two minutes to complete the solution.

In preparation for the competition, teams had been building and programming robots for months – based on a theme, and with the guidance of an educator coach.

The learners participated in the following age categories:

  • under ten years (the We Do category);
  • from seven to 12 years (regulatory elementary);
  • from 13 to 15 years (junior category); and
  • from 16 to 19 years (senior category).

The teams that qualified to move on to the national competition are the Sharp Shooters and the Cyber Assassins in the senior ranking, and the Revolution and the Guardians in the junior ranking.

Qualifying teams will receive an official invitation and will need to re-register for the national competition.

This will be presented on 29 September at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria.

Danie Heymans, the manager at Hands on Tech (an importer and distributor of Lego Education products in sub-Saharan Africa) said the next step of the competition, after the national competition, would involve that teams of the national winners represent WRO South Africa at the international WRO in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on 16 and 17 November.

Last year, nine teams went to Costa Rica and the two best-performing teams were placed in the 12th and 13th spot in the world in the open category.

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