February 6, 2012                                                                                              

 Putting a High Tech Spin on the War of 1812  

Just how different would the War of 1812 have been if robots had been available?

Elementary students at the District School Board of Niagara are putting that question to the test at the 2012 Elementary Robotics Fair being held in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Over 500 students from 38 schools are expected to participate in the three day event which began on February 6.

The friendly competition brings together teams of four students to engage in some creative robotics problem solving. Students have constructed a basic robot for the event, which will have to be modified to complete a number of different challenges based on the War of 1812. Students are asked to program the robot so it can complete the challenges autonomously. 

“The competition tests students’ robotics skills and knowledge, but also their ability to collaborate and work effectively as a team,” says Sean Hanna, DSBN Science and Environmental Education Consultant.

While the actual details of the challenge remain a secret until the morning of the competition, tasks could include things such as:

  • collecting barrels of ammunition for canons
  • pushing canons into firing position
  • charging up the escarpment
  • closing the fort doors
  • removing a row of enemy soldiers who have gained an advantageous position

The more tasks the robot can complete, the more points that can be awarded.

“It is always exciting to see the creativity and the ingenuity of our students on display,” adds Hanna.

Event Details: 

Date: February 6-8

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. daily

Location: School Support Services, 1875 Niagara Stone Road, NOTL