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Kitimat robotics team wins big at provincial championships

The end of this event also marks the end of the first season for the Sentinels and their focus has shifted to next year
From left to right, Nick Dahler, Victor Botelho, Grant Van Loon, Sam Benet (front, kneeling), Tristan Hall, Charles-Emile Guay, Rayne King, Krysta Peralto (front, kneeling), Markus Anthony (Black Press Media/Christian Apostolovski)

Kitimat’s robotics team; Team 19769, Sentinels, came home as provincial champions for the FIRST Tech Challenge, held in Surrey on Feb. 26.

The team was part of the first alliance alongside the number one ranked team, 16031, Parabellum, who selected one-man team 20341, Sheep Robotics & Sentinels. The alliance is selected through scouting each match.

This year’s game was called FREIGHT FRENZY.

“Robots maneuver across a 12 foot by 12-foot field, they traverse barriers and manipulate different types of freight in order to score” said Krysta Peralto, lead mentor for both Northern FTC teams, The Frog Series at Caledonia, & Sentinels. “On the field, your robot works with an alliance partner and against two others”

The Kitimat team named their robot Jonathan (the Dragon), and they were judged on the design of their robot. They also spoke about their involvement in the school & community. Ultimately they took home the third-place Design Award for their robust design.

But it didn’t stop there for the rookie team, as they also took home first place for the Motivate Award.

“Which shows how hard they work for their team & school, and how much this community loves them,” said Peralto. “As well as how much this town backs them, because they motivated not only themselves but their whole community.”

Only half the team was physically able to attend the event, four students along with their teacher Nick Dahler attended in person. But in just over three weeks they were able to secure funding to cover all costs for the group which was over $6,000.

Out of this group, two students controlled the robot as a driver and operator, they had an on-field strategist with them called a drive coach, and the final student at the event was the head scout. The head scout worked to connect with the rest of the team who watched every match over the live stream in the school’s library.

The end of this event also marks the end of the first season for the Sentinels and their focus has shifted to next year, they have already begun planning their next steps.

“What they focus on for next year will benefit more students in the area,” said Peralto.

Read More: Kitimat and Terrace students gear up for robotics competition

Christian Aspostolovsky

About the Author: Christian Aspostolovsky

Born and raised in Kitchener Ontario before I found my way up to northwest B.C. working at a small radio station as a news reporter.
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