Trurobotics team looks to international competition in June

Raissa Tetanish
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Published on March 02, 2014

Fraser Robinson, seated, and Sam Elgee discuss some ideas during a Trurobotics team meeting and practice on Sunday. The team has earned a spot at an international competition in June.

Published on March 02, 2014

Xavier Barrington, left, and Zach Gray do some online research regarding robotics during a meeting and practice of the Trurobotics team.

Published on March 02, 2014

Sam Elgee digs through a container of Lego to use during a meeting with the Trurobotics team Sunday at the library in Truro. The team has worked together over the past year to earn themselves a spot at an international competition and a couple of fundraisers are being planned to help get the nine youth and four adults to the competition in Toronto. 

Published on March 02, 2014

Ella Goyette, left, and Kyla O'Neill of the Trurobotics team take apart some Lego during the team's meeting and practice at the library in Truro on Sunday. The team won the Project Presentation Award at a regional competition last month, also placing in the top three teams overall, and is headed to an international competition in June.

Published on March 02, 2014

Zach Gray, from left, James Robinson and Jack Somers research robotics during the Trurobotics meeting and practice on Sunday at the library in Truro.

TRURO – Having joined the Trurobotics team just this past year, Zach Gray may have found what he wants to do in the future.

“I joined because I like working with technology,” said the 11-year-old Truro boy who is one of nine youth from Colchester County on the team. “It’s a great learning experience for these kinds of things – there’s advanced education and it’s fun to do. I’m thinking about becoming an engineer now. There are a lot of computer programming courses that I may want to do when I get older.”

Zach said he was looking around for something technology-based to do when he saw the Trurobotics team and decided to join. He’ll be heading to Toronto at the beginning of June with his fellow group members to represent the province in the FIRST Lego League International Open.

“Now that we’re at the state of going to the international competition, there’s a lot more excitement on the team and everyone is happy,” he said. “Right now, we’ve worked so hard, I don’t think we should stop. It’s really great.”

The team, which started in 2012, is one of three teams in the province to have earned a spot in the international competition from June 4 to 7 that will see more than 70 teams from across the world competing against each other.

“I’ve always liked a challenge, especially when it comes to science and technology,” said Fraser Robinson, of Greenfield, who is one of the original Trurobotics members. “Everyone gets along really well and everyone tries their hardest to make things work, but with robotics, there’s always a challenge and opportunity for coming up with a unique solution.”

The group, which also includes Kyla O’Neill, Ella Goyette, Sam Elgee, James Robinson, Jack Somers and Xavier Barrington, is working on a solution to ‘Nature’s Fury.’

“I really like running the programs,” said Ella, 11, of Truro Heights. “I like to see how much of a success they are and how good we’re going to do with them. With our project, we have to create something that can help or improve upon nature’s fury, so it could be something like flooding.”

With all nine group members, two coaches and two adults making the trip to the competition, the group has started looking for corporate sponsorships as well as planning fundraisers.

Jeremy Goyette, the team coach, said a rough estimate of $15,000 will cover all flights, accommodations, travel costs at the competition and food.

“This was an all or nothing kind of thing for the team,” said Goyette. “It’s an opportunity we can’t let pass on these kids.”

Goyette said the team last year made it to provincials, however missed out at continuing after placing fourth.

“But this year, they broke through. That’s everything for this team. A big part of the competition is co-operation, fair competition and the way they present themselves as ambassadors, and in my mind and heart, that is why they’re going to the international competition this year,” he said.

“Most of the other teams come from schools where there is an afterschool program, or they can get together over lunch. They have that rapport going. But these youth come from different schools and communities, so the first couple of times we met, we let them have fun.

“They’ve made this what it is.”

Fraser said the group has learned a lot about teamwork and never giving up.

“We never thought we’d be where we are now,” he said. “But we’ve been able to make it work.”

Anyone interested in donating to the cause, can contact Jeremy Goyette at 843-2914 or jeremy.goyette@mcti.ca.

The team is looking for corporate sponsorships, as well as donations for an upcoming silent auction. A tentative date has been set for April 6 for a pancake dinner, complete with 50/50, and the silent auction with 50/50 and live entertainment will be scheduled for late April.

For more information on the team and ways to donate, visit http://fraserrobinson.wixi.com/trurobotics or www.facebook.com/Trurobotics.

 

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

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