Manitoulin Metal MSS robotics team competes at district championships

The MSS Manitoulin Metal robotics team gave another good show of their mechatronic mastery at the First Robotics Canada competition hosted by McMaster University this past weekend.

NORTH BAY – The Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) robotics team competed at the First Robotics Canada North Bay District Championships from March 28-30. Team members take on various roles including design, construction, graphic design, business, media, social media, operations, safety and scouting. Only in their second year, the team consists of senior members JD Herlehy, Douglas Robinson and Emily Savage; junior members Lindsay Sheppard, Lavitz Young, Jake Brasil, Kassandra Bordeleau and mentors Allan Davy, Yana Bauer and Cassandra Kuntsi. Unable to attend this event were Amber Wahl, Dana Thomson, Ryan Goddard and Darwin Wood. 

Overcoming several challenges early in the event, the 2019 MSS robot JED was able to place hatch panels, cargo, and play a mean defence in a number of winning matches and ended the qualifications in 30th place out of 33 teams. 

On the way home from her first event, Kassandra Bordeleau commented, “First Robotics is an amazing event that everyone should experience. The atmosphere was very accepting, and the event helped me build confidence. You may find a passion while at a First Robotics competition, and you never know what opportunities it will bring.”  

The team has been mentored by First Nations STEM from Wikwemikong High School and Ice Cubed from North Bay. They’ve also been generously sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, Microsoft, FIRST Canada, Argosy Foundation, Manitoulin Transport, Freddie’s Welding, JK Automotive, Island Promotional Products, Northern Credit Union, Mr. and Mrs. Anglin, Bank of Montreal (BMO), The Manitoulin Expositor, Dr. Bryn Casson, Manitowaning Freshmart, Kat’s Pet Supplies and Wahl Water. 

The team did not have much turn around as they headed to their second district championship at McMaster University in Hamilton from April 5 to 7. 

At the McMaster Competition the MSS team was also joined by Dana Thompson, Ryan Goddard and Darwin Wood. They finished the three-day event in 19th position out of 34 teams. The team was invited to a VIP dinner and congratulated for their growth and commitment by the Associate Dean of McMaster Engineering John Preston and the President of First Robotics Canada Mark Breadner.