The E.G. Wahlstrom Elementary School Eagles took home gold and bronze at the third annual Robo Rumble in early May.
Grade 4 student Caelen Mackay beat out all of the other students from High Prairie School District schools. Silver went to a Donnelly high school student – Christian Mencke. Another Eagle, Joseph Fanawopo (Grade 5), won bronze.
“This year it had to be done remotely,” says EGW principal Kristoffer Herbert. However, that didn’t mean that it wasn’t exciting. The entire school watched the competition on a live stream.
“When Caelen won, the school erupted,” he adds. “It still felt intense. The whole school was behind our team. Caelen must have felt like a rock star. He had the biggest smile ever.”
EGW Eagles have competed each of the three years of the Robo Rumble.
Last year, the best EGW did was fourth, says Herbert, which is still very good.
For the first two years, the robotics team was just like any other lunch-time club, says Herbert. Students got together and built Lego robots and learned how to code them.
This year was different because of COVID-19. In the fall, 80 students signed up for robotics. They did various projects on their own, which required both coding and robotics. Those that finished everything, borrowed a robot kit from the school division. Then there was more remote coaching and the students built them on their own.
In total, Robo Rumble had 16 rounds of battles. From EGW, 14 students competed.