ADITHI VENKATESWARAN

November 8, 2017

On October 21, 2017, Victoria Park’s very own Robotics Team 4914 hosted the 4th annual Fall Fiesta, an off-season robotics competition sponsored by TDSB and FIRST Robotics. With over 20 teams in attendance, it was truly a day of excitement!

“Fall Fiesta seemed really cool. The robots were pretty awesome,” says Zoey Friel-Bartlett, Team 4914 Member.

Although Team 4914 did not compete in the event, a group of over 40 volunteers from VP’s Robotics Team joined in on the fun. Throughout the day, many ‘Red Shirts’ were seen resetting the field, managing the practice fields, manning the pits, and most importantly, representing our school community with Panther Pride. Our volunteers not only showed school spirit, but welcomed visiting teams with our trademark warm hospitality.

The 2017 competition, named STEAMWORKS, requires teams to collect fuel and gears to prepare the alliance’s airship for take off. Teams are tasked with scoring fuel elements into the boilers, installing gears to engage rotors, as well as securing their robot to the airship after climbing the rope. During the first 15 seconds, the robots are at work autonomously, trying to score points. The remaining time sees human players delivering elements and turning gears in what is an exhilarating 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Within each match, there are 2 alliances—blue or red. The alliances earn points by generating steam pressure, engaging rotors, and securing robots to the airship. Each alliance is made up of 3 teams and this extraordinary group of teams changes for every match. This demonstrates the concept of “Coopertition.” Although the teams work together to gain victory, they still compete against one another.

There were many different robots with varying designs and structures, yet it was fascinating that they all had 1 common goal to reach. The main goal of off-season events such as Fall Fiesta is to give new teams and members competition experience, and to allow them to become familiar with the environment before next season’s new game begins.

“It was fun! I met a lot of interesting people from other schools. They were really nice,” says Maggie Yang, member of Team 4914.

With the next build season fast approaching, all teams anxiously wait for next year’s game and rules, which are announced closer to the start of the season. Every team, member, and robotics lover alike are excited for the 2018 game titled POWER UP.

After another successful Fall Fiesta event, schools and communities have something to be proud of. More and more students are expressing their interest in STEM subjects, and this only contributes to the ever-changing world of technology. It is safe to say that these generations of STEM enthusiasts are shaping the world, one day at a time.