North Island Distance Education School


Navigate VEX Robotics Team Going to World Championship

February 25, 2014


NIDES Team 7842D has qualified to go to the World Championship for VEX Robotics in mid-April in Anaheim, California. Based on our previous participation and success in Robot events during the season,  NIDES/Navigate sent three teams to the Provincial "World Qualifier" at Gladstone Secondary School - in Vancouver - on Saturday.  At that event, two of our teams advanced to the playoffs, where they partnered up with two other teams to form three team alliances.  Both teams (and their alliance partners) advanced through the playoffs to the semi-finals and team 7842D made it to the finals.  That automatically qualified them for the Worlds.  While they lost their final match, in essence, we won the 'silver'.  Our final alliance partners were teams from Mark Isfeld (in Courtenay) and Shawnigan Lake (outside of Duncan).  Mark Isfeld was the alliance captain and they honoured us by selecting us to be part of their Alliance.  (They had more than 30 teams to choose from).

For this event, our VEX team members come from both the Qualicum Beach area and the Comox Valley.  The NIDES VEX robotics community (we are called the Navigators) really represents the best of what NIDES/Navigate is all about - serving the students who chose to make us their school, their community, their home - from wherever they may live.

We 'meet', as a digital robot community, via Skype, from 4:30 to 8:30 most Friday evenings.  The traditional option might have been to ask our students to complete, with some significant risk, a 150 km round trip during the dark winter evenings of the robot season in order to 'get together'.  We have used our digital experience to attempt to overcome that challenge.

Our team members range from dual entry grade 12 students (taking both our courses and Vancouver Island University classes) through to grade nine students.  Some members are with NIDES/Navigate full-time.  Others have chosen a blended approach so that their learning can include courses such as drama and band in their home communities.

NIDES/Navigate is a complex educational environment our teams celebrate our complexity in every action we take.

Thanks again for all of your support.

~ Stewart Savard


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