NORTH DELTA — They hit nothing but net in the school gym, but it wasn’t a basketball-game win that earned this team a trip to the world championships.
No, it was a robot by the name of 9181-B with the winning shots in a ball-tossing challenge during the BC Vex Robotics provincial tourney at Seaquam Secondary.
Victory for the five students – Michael Milic, Bradley Schellenberg, Josh Zindler, Dawson Pasin and Trevor Chow – came on home court last month.
“It was fun to watch, especially with it being held at our school here,” said Bryce Hamade, coach/teacher of the three Seaquam squads that competed.
The provincial win – a first for a school from Delta – means Seaquam’s 9181-B team is off to the Vex robotics world championship event, in Louisville, Kentucky from April 19 to 23, where they’ll again compete in the “Nothing But Net” contest.
(Story continues below video of robot challenge at Seaquam last month)
“It’s a massive event with more than 400 teams coming from all over the world – China, New Zealand, Australia, everywhere,” Hamade told the Now.
“In New Zealand, they’ve been posting videos and we’ve been watching their robots develop over the past year, so we know there’ll be some really top-quality robots there. Because this is our first time going to worlds, we don’t even know what our goal is – whether we’re going to try to win it or just be competitive or aim to get to the quarter-finals, it’s hard to say.”
During spring break, the five students rebuilt 9181-B with parts from the other Seaquam robots, to make it more competitive in Kentucky.
The team tested the new, super-charged bot at the Pacific Northwest Championship at BCIT last week, winning the Judge’s Award and second place.
They’ve also launched a fundraising campaign (Gofundme.com/beu4kew4) to help them get to Kentucky.
“They did really well this year, and I’m proud of them,” Hamade said.