Three years ago we started Team 4992 with 20 students, no mentors, no money, no routines, no curriculum and no resources except an abundance of enthusiasm and a ‘can do’ attitude. Before then we had a Skills competition team that met once a week. It was ‘just another crazy thing Druiven does.’ If you were in the tech. hall at Drury on those evenings you could see our creations zipping up and down the hall.
Now look at today. I am no longer Mr Druiven. Kids around the school call me ‘that robotics guy.’ Today we are over 40 students, 6 mentors, 2 major sponsors, Stackpole and Siemens and a host of other sponsors. In the first 2 years Robotics was a night school course and this year a period 6 class. The curriculum is well established and may expand into Technological Design next year. It is based on School Board and Ministry guidelines. We have also built up a reserve of physical resources and the enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude continue to grow. We are currently building a new robot base for practice. The students can use 3 myDAQs to learn programming. We have a School Board designed and approved curriculum delivered through night school or period 6 classes. I wanted to make this dinner work for 3 years now and this year that “can do” attitude has prevailed. This year we also raffled off a $1100 laptop computer, sold cookies and in the spring we are hosting a BBQ and a Krispy Creme Donut sales day.
In the spring of 2014 our rookie team, blinded by the noise and lights made it to the finals in our first ever regional event. In the Spring of 2014 and 2015 we travelled to North Bay where we held our own and learned a great deal. In the spring of 2015 a lot of bad draws pushed us low down in the ranking and yet we came back to within a hair breadth from a final playoff berth. We were certainly among the top 10 of 44 robots.
I would like to thank our many sponsors:
Discovery Precision Machining
along with York Trafalgar & Pipers Heath Gold Course, Professional Engineers of Ontario, State Farm, OBriens, HDSB and HDSB Pathways and the Canadian Welding Association.
Thank you to our mentors:
Brian Weppler at EFXS
Andrew Dempsey, Kelly Dickinson, Reza Samadi and Amir from Stackpole International
Sarah Drake and Rob Cino from team 3571 the Milton Mustangs
MM Robinson, Burlington Central, Oakville Trafalgar High School, Robert Bateman High School and Georgetown District High School teams and mentor.
Un-ending support from David Lewis, HDSB and Donna Taylor our Principal. Gerry Moynaugh our business manager puts up with our strange requests and terrible book keeping.
Thank you to the parents for you trust and faith allowing the students to stay at school until 9pm and go on 4 day excursions.
Thank you to Chris Brooks Prenger who came on board “no questions asked” and fellow teacher mentors Amy Lin, Robin Durham and Mubarka Bajwa.