Robotics course in Clinton, Ont. high school a huge success with students

It’s Battle Bots—Clinton, Ont. edition — inside the robotics classroom at Central Huron High School. It’s new this year at Huron County High School.

“It’s creative. You can do whatever you want and you learn new things with it,” said Grade 9 robotics recruit Keiara Peters.

14 VEX Robotics kits arrived at Central Huron High School (CHSS) this year, allowing students to build, modify, redesign and code their own robots.

“The point of a real robot is that it has to make autonomous choices. So the students start with the construction and then the goal is to program it using VEX code, so that the robot can perform autonomous movements,” said Jacqui Morley, professor of communication and technology at CHSS.

So far the program is a great success.

“It’s very similar to Lego, but you can feel like you’re building a fully functional machine,” said Robotics course participant Brayden Chambers.

“Normally in coding classes you don’t feel like you’re applying the knowledge you’ve learned, but here you’re taking all that coding knowledge and applying it in the arena or doing tasks. You can see why your code is failing, instead of an on-screen message saying ‘Error’,” said student Caleb Laurin.

Although they have some catching up to do — as other schools have had robots for years — robotics students at CHSS are eager to try their hand at provincial robotics competitions as soon as possible.

“I would think about it. It’s definitely a good way to go,” Peters said.

“We have our own little class competitions here, where they compete against each other. So it would be great to go further, especially since some of the limitations have been lifted,” Morley said.

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