After two long years without the thrill of competing in-person, students were excited to get back into the spotlight and chase wins; and what a return it was. Exceeding our usual number of teams, we resolved to field up to fifteen teams this season for the World Robotics Olympiad (WRO) and Zone01 competitions. Of the fifteen teams we sponsored and sent, eleven had winning runs and advanced to the next stage. Students were thrilled to be back in that fast-paced environment, proving their abilities and utilizing all that they have learned. Coaches were not allowed to assist teams, and despite running into some issues with sensors, lighting, and their build, students displayed excellent independence and mastery of skills to prevail and were able to bypass these issues without any input from coaches.
Zone01 finals took place in May, in Montreal. With six teams traveling to compete in the finals, families came along to support the students and enjoy the trip along with them. It was not only a time to vacation, though – students were up early to compete at 8am against teams from all over Canada. Students, naturally, experienced issues with their robots and runs again; however, armed with experience from their previous runs, they were able to conquer these issues with a clear head. Three teams succeeded to the podium and all around got to enjoy not only victory but a wonderful experience in the city with their family and friends.
Students and coaches alike cannot wait to go out and compete again, looking forward to the upcoming WRO finals and beyond. The first set of competitions back turned out to be a fantastic experience to fuel the fire of learning and excitement for all things STEM and Robotics for the Zebra Robotics family.