WHITEHORSE—Grade 6 students from four Whitehorse elementary schools designed and programmed robots and competed yesterday in the second annual Yukon Robotics Challenge at Porter Creek Secondary School as part of Education Week celebrations.
“The Yukon Robotics Challenge engages students in friendly competition and hands on learning,” Minister of Education Doug Graham said. “The challenge highlights the creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills that are key components of Yukon schools’ 21st-century learning approach.”
An audience of invited guests and about 90 student participants from Grade 6 classes at Jack Hulland Elementary, Elijah Smith Elementary, Takhini Elementary and Whitehorse Elementary were present at the competition.
Students, in teams of four and five, built robots using Lego® Mindstorm kits. The robots use sensors to navigate a course and move objects. Students also presented their projects and related them to the theme of Harnessing Energy, which challenged students to think about hydro, solar, wind and geothermal energy sources.
“I congratulate the students on their robot designs, teamwork and spirit of friendly competition,” Graham added. “The Yukon Robotics Challenge allows students not just to use, but to create and innovate with science, math and technology.”
The Association of Professional Engineers and the Education department partnered to create the Yukon Robotics Challenge in 2014. Association members and other volunteers judge the competition and award medals for field task performance, technical performance, and project and team work. A plaque was awarded to the school with the best overall scores, and to the school that showed the most spirit.
This initiative aligns with Yukon government’s renewed focus on improving student outcomes through Yukon-specific educational programming.