Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Busy, busy BK Publishing: Part 1

World Robot Olympiad

Awesome robots at the SA WRO
It has been a while since we've posted news about what BK Publishing is up to. The past few months have seen us attending numerous events and expos to meet our readers, supporters and other interesting people.

One of the events Benoit Knox and Andrea Vermaak attended was the WRO National Finals at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. The World Robot Olympiad is a global robotics competition that brings together young people from all over the world to develop their creativity, design and problem solving skills through challenges and educational robot competitions. The WRO competition uses LEGO Mindstorms manufactured by LEGO Education.

This years' entrants (the largest number of participants in the SA WRO) astounded us with their technological savvy. Teams from across the country competed in four categories. Winning teams get to represent South Africa in Jakarta in November 2013. 

The Robo Bros, Liam and Nicholas Waller, were placed first in the Regular Primary category, while JEK Theory (Joshua Brits, Evan Cantrell and Kayleigh Herrhann) won the trophy in the Regular Junior High category.

The Wetland Rangers, Pieter and Kobie Theron

The Wetland Rangers, Pieter (12) and Kobie Theron (12), with whom we had the opportunity to chat, did not surprise us when they won the Open Primary category. Their model sluice which simulates water level control in the St Lucia wetlands boggled our minds. We hope that they can implement their ingenious design to save the wetland. We wish them all the best!

WiErd, Jaen-Jurie and Danielle Rootman

We also got to chat to Danielle (16) and Jaen-Jurie Rootman (14) of team WiErd, who won the Open Junior High trophy for their idea for a voice activated robot programmed to guide tourists to various attractions on Robbin Island. We'd love to see their idea fulfilled and take a guided tour around Robbin Island – robot-style!

QWERTY Robots - CE3, Dylan Rheeders and Marco Pretorius

Enthusiastic Dylan Rheeders (17) and Marco Pretorius (15) of team QWERTY Robots – CE3, also made us proud when they who won gold in the Open Senior High category with their clever cave exploring robot. CE3 has already discovered new parts of the underground lake in the Sterkfontein Caves. Imagine what else CE3 could find!

If the level of entrants is this high already, we can't wait to see what next year's competition will produce!

P.S. Watch this space for 'Busy, busy BK Publishing: Part 2' coming soon!

1 comment:

    It is with great pride that we would like to informthat Dylan Rheeders & Marco Pretorius represented South Africa at the World Robot Olympics on the weekend of 15- 17 November 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
    The WRO is an International Robotics Competition. With Robotics students are challenged on many different levels and across multiple curriculum relevant subjects. However, it is not just about Robotics, but also about team work and fostering of skills required for 21st century innovation, creativity and problem solving. It is these skills that our young people need in order to make their dreams and competition skills come true.
    The two boys did almost the impossible by winning the Silver Medal in the Open Category of the WRO. The UAE was first and Germany third. The Silver Medal is the highest any SA team have ever reached at the WRO. 36 countries participated in the Olympiad with a total of 385 teams of which 97 teams were entered in the open category. The participants demonstrated extraordinary talent to make it to the World Championship.
    Under the theme World Heritage for this competition students had to promote and/or protect their National Heritage and promote their culture which our boys did with the greatest success.
    Most of the international teams took part with sponsorship from their governments and/or businesses. Our boys participated on their own and outperformed the strongest and most wealthy countries.
    We believe that Robotics in our Country is on the grow and rise. The boys were top class ambassadors for our country and was sought out by all as they represented a diverse country and the nations lined up for photo opportunities with our champions.