pic: Vancouver VEX Workshop 2009

What better way to spend your time when the students are writing exams than by learning about robots? We started with the premise that the best way to create new VEX teams was to show the teachers how powerful VEX kits could be by having them build a robot and play a game.

So we created a little game, invited some interested teachers, and had a two and a half day workshop where the teachers got to build robots and drive them in a little tournament on Friday morning.

We had some great guest spearkers from UBC and BCIT, and a very nice BBQ on Thursday night prepared by graduates of the David Thompson Secondary chef training program.

Sharp eyed FRC, FTC and VEX competitors might notice a few familiar faces to the left of this photo… in the back row are Olev Jaaguste (Coach FRC 2273, and four FTC teams… one of which went to Atlanta this year.), Todd Ablett (host teacher and coach of 15 VEX teams, four of which were in Dallas this year, and two of which made the FTC quarter finals in Atlanta a year ago) and Rick Tyler from the Exothermic Robotics Club in Redmond (FRC, FTC, VEX… you name it, he’s coached it), and our new VEX Regional “Evangelist”. Oh, yeah… I’m in there, too. The rest of the folks… you’ll get to know them soon, I’m sure.

It was great to have Paris and Terry from the regional science and tech councils joining us. Paris has done a great job supporting the Vancouver Island VEX Championship, and Terry is looking forward to getting some robotics teams established in the Kootenays.

Special thanks to Todd for hosting us at Gladstone and letting us play with Gladstone’s massive collection of VEX parts (and yes, the playing field is a permanent part of the shop) and our great guest speakers.

The end result is close to ten new schools doing VEX next year in BC (and perhaps at least one university…), and more to come as word spreads.


Jason - Do you have presentation / curriculum materials from the Workshop that you would want to share? - I am thinking about pulling together a similar activity and would like to build on (cheat off of) a success if we do attempt it. - Blake
PS: How much time did every spend building? Did you offer them premade subassemblies or designs?

I’ve posted the course outline along with a description of several of the topics covered to my quasi-blog (when you post every six months or so, it hardly counts as a full “blog”). Hopefully that will help… I know I borrowed a lot of material to put it together.