Congratulations to the Leduc Composite High School Team GOLD Champions of the 2013 Provincial Skills Competition–Robots. Shown here dressed in the black Team Alberta uniform, the young men proudly represented Team Alberta at the National Skills Competition in Vancouver on June 6 and 7th. In this photo, the team is receiving last minute instructions before the contest. Seated (L to R): Josh Mulder, Kurk Urvold, Timurlane Cakmak, and Rae Jeong. Photo submitted by Dennis Cebuliak.
Two outstanding teams from Leduc Composite High School were awarded top medals at the Provincial Skills Competition—Robotics category held in Edmonton on May 15 and 16, 2013.
The Silver medal team members are Captain Ethan Howald, Raine Gingras, Matt Myers, and Terran Station.
The Gold Champions are Josh Mulder, Kurk Urvold, Timurlane Cakmak, and Rae Jeong.
The robots are part of a program called Computer Science Education (CSE). However, next year LCHS hopes to expand it to include just robotics. Leduc Comp IA Instructor Dennis Cebuliak said he has been running the program for almost two years. While there are currently no formal plans to give the students advanced course credit, any experience in programming and robotics will certainly give the student an advantage at the college and university level. Next year, these students will be going on to NAIT and various universities to study engineering, logistics, mechatronics (in Waterloo), and even animation.
“These students build their own robots from scratch from metals, woods, and other materials,” said Cebuliak. “There was no kit merely handed over to them.”
How do the teams compete? Cebuliak explains: “Two teams are allowed on a closed court at a time. They have to collect scattered wooden pallets and arrange them in a row in a ‘docking station’ which resembles the rows and columns of a mailroom. Extra Points are given for pallets in a straight row sequence. There are rules regarding the touching and placement of your team’s pallets and the other team’s. The best robots are very adept at picking up and inserting pallets, quickly moving about the court, placing pallets strategically, knocking out the opponent’s pallets, and very, very strong in a nose-to-nose confrontation over whose pallet is going to win the rights to occupy a specific slot.”
On June 6 & 7, the Team Alberta Gold Champions from Leduc Comp travelled to Vancouver for the National Skills Competition. Cebuliak shares the nail-biting finish:
“We were in the Bronze medal game, and tied BC in the first match. However, the overtime saw the Team Alberta and Team BC robots exchanging the lead back and forth. When the final buzzer went, the score was 2-1 for BC, but seconds later it would have been 2-1 for Alberta. We were beaten by 3 seconds of the clock!”
Team Alberta had some very strong support from several parents, friends, teachers, and mentors. Special mention goes to Mr. Greg Loose, Mr. Merv Sykes.
“Leduc Composite High School fielded two GOLD place teams,” said Cebuliak. “The caliber of these students as far as problem solving, perseverance, skill development and deployment, and enthusiasm…is second to none.”
“They teach me,” he adds, “and I learn from them what it’s like to never say ‘quit’ when you’re down and (almost) out.”