Campus Life  

Robocup Junior takes over Kelowna Campus

Western Canada Robocup Junior participants

For August Beetlestone, a lead educator at the Okanagan Robotics Academy, seeing his students compete in Robocup is an incredible source of pride.  

Beetlestone’s students meet weekly to design, build and program robots while fostering lifelong friendships centred on a love of robotics, electronics and engineering. 

The Okanagan Robotics Academy brings educators together with a goal to enhance student experience in real-world robotics, electronics, and engineering through competition and project-based learning. Young people are encouraged to explore, have fun and develop the skills that will prepare them for a rapidly changing world. And one of those events is the long-running Robocup event held each year at Okanagan College.  

“Robocup is so impactful for our students because it gives them an opportunity to get hands-on and explore electrical engineering and mechanical engineering,” said Beetlestone. 

The battling robots took over the OC Kelowna campus on Friday, April 26 for the 16th annual Western Canada Robocup competition. Competitors from elementary, middle, and secondary schools throughout the Okanagan participated in competitions showcasing students’ technical prowess. 

Seventeen teams competed in rescue missions, soccer games, and innovative dance demonstrations. Robots navigated obstacles, scored goals, and entertained spectators.  

Students competed in teams with members of the Okanagan Robotics Academy claiming three first place showings. With great experience in a growing field, all of the students gained valuable experience. 

Okanagan College Dean of science and technology, Dr. Halia Valladares spoke to the incredible impact Robocup has on empowering young people to pursue careers in science, technology and math (STEM).  

“Robocup shows what is possible in robotics, inspiring the next generation of engineers and highlighting the importance of academic institutions in nurturing STEM education,” said Valladares. “We have many great programs in Science and Technology in careers that are in need of workers and we look forward to being able to introduce more students to these rewarding careers. 

Support for the competition came from Tekmar, Okanagan Robotics Academy, Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing, TFA, and Lovbot. 

Applications for science and technology programs at Okanagan College are currently open. Take your first step towards a rewarding career in STEM today.  

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