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Penticton high school students fundraising for dream robotics competition

Kids with robotics dreams

A Penticton youth robotics team is hoping the community will help them fundraise to go to the province's regional competition this spring.

Penticton Robotics Club is comprised of teens from Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School.

The kids meet weekly with a goal: to hone the skills they will need to produce a robot capable of sophisticated, dynamic movement with the ability to follow complex commands to satisfy a list of tasks provided by the robotics competition "FIRST": For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, which will be held in Victoria in March.

It's no small feat. Taylor, a student at Princess Margaret, is a member of the team, and is excited to be involved in this year's challenge. He is one of 11 students currently involved, though they are always happy to welcome more.

"What I'm hoping to get out of this is to advance my ability with electronics and robotics, and build a future set of career skills," Taylor said.

The students also learn teamwork and pride in working towards a common goal.

FIRST is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing youth in the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Penticton Robotics Club first competed in the BC event in 2020, and qualified for the World Championships in Houston, Texas.

Sadly, the global pandemic shut down that dream, and every year since, the competition has been cancelled.

This year, it's back, and the Penticton kids want to be there to show off their skills.

In the new year, the team will receive a list of tasks their fully-functional, remote-controlled robot must be able to complete.

"At the moment, we don't really know a lot about what the challenges are this year, we find out on the seventh of January," Taylor said.

"So that gives us less than two months to build this year. But at the moment, we kind of have an idea on some of the base level stuff for like the bumpers and the drive system."

Also top of mind at the moment: Fundraising.

The team has set up a GoFundMe to help raise money to build their robot and send the team to Victoria in March. Any small amount will go towards travel fees, accommodation, food, registration fees and the like.

For more information or to donate, click here.

Watch below: Penticton Robotics in action at the 2020 FIRST Canadian Pacific Regional competition.

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