Ridley’s three teams competed at the VEX Robotics World Championship against some amazing machines from 29 countries, the strongest teams coming from the US, China and New Zealand. From Niagara teams, Ridley’s 1509Z team was the only one selected for the elimination rounds and lost in the semi finals.
The ability to process clearly under pressure, and to demonstrate grit when hope was fading was a trait each student on the team faced and attempted to overcome. Team 1509 (Ray Gao, Nina Haag, Daniel Marcos, Elias Ancer, Javan Graham, Antonio Aspite) had the most challenging problem, finding a shorted wire buried in a metal sleeve, fixing the problem and getting back on field within an hour (for a win). On another occasion, Nina rebuilt the secondary lift between matches.
1509E (James Gross, Heather Curtis, Ryan Schmidt, Will Cowherd, Jonah Rubin, Willem van Sittert) had the least confusing mechanical problems of any team but still managed to break motors and was forced to adjust the machine after the abuse it received during each match.
Special thanks to Ava O’Toole. She made sure we made it to matches, that batteries were ready and charged, kept the hundreds of parts in order and kept us all amused (or tried to) when the pressure was highest.
1509Z (Padraic Odesse, Dane Sisinni, Andy Li, Anakin Li, Nikita Bryliov, William Wang) faced the greatest adversity, shredding gears in motors, rebuilding their main lift late into Thursday evening, suffering from pneumatics failure and overcoming the demoralizing reality of a triple loss on the first day. Like all other teams, they battled through adversity and posted a winning record in their 7 remaining matches and made it to the semi-finals of the Math division.
Every year the bar is raised in terms of competition. Just getting to worlds has now become such a challenge. Our three teams represented Ridley well before a world audience.
Special thanks to all who helped make this venture possible; from parents who sacrificed time and money to support us, Chartwells, security, admin, accounting for arranging payments and financing, and for all the support from fellow students and staff at Ridley for our teams. Special thanks to my co-mentor Scott McCambley. His effort and passion for our teams is unwavering.
P.S. We even managed to find a former team member.
Written By Robotics Coach Rodney Reimer