Going to Globals: EnviroBots Conquer Destination ImagiNation

The EnviroBots with parent volunteer Chamkaur Cheema
The EnviroBots with parent volunteer Chamkaur Cheema

What will robotic technology accomplish next? How will our lives change because of it?

Just ask the EnviroBots – our Destination ImagiNation team that participated in the 2010 Global Finals Tournament in Knoxville, TN. <

The middle-level team of seven (Grade 6s’ Anisha, Elizabeth, Ariana, Rachel, Alice, Nicole and Gr. 7 Laura, accompanied by parent volunteers Chamkaur and Sandy Cheema) competed with 1050 teams from around the world from May 26-29, 2010.

These four exhilarating days were filled with intense competition, teamwork, creativity and fun.

The girls tied for 16th place out of 60 teams that competed in their division (middle-level robotics) – a huge accomplishment.

Each team is required to complete two mind-bending challenges – an “instant challenge” where the team is given 10 minutes to prepare and present, and a team challenge chosen from a variety of categories that incorporate areas such as structural engineering, mathematics, marketing, robotics technology, storytelling and visual arts. The team prepares for the challenge in advance and presents their entry at the tournament.

For their team challenge, the EnviroBots presented an 8-minute original play that demonstrated how robotic technology has impacted and changed our lives. Within this challenge, they designed and built a robot made entirely of garbage!

Rehearsing for the team challenge
Rehearsing for the team challenge

Parent volunteer Chamkaur Cheema has been running the Destination ImagiNation program at York House since enrolling his daughter Anisha in kindergarten.

“I’ve remained committed to the program all these years because it’s an opportunity to teach the girls important skills that will serve them well later in life,” he says. “As well, it’s a great way to give back to the school and support my daughter.”

When they weren’t busy watching other teams perform, the girls participated in interactive activities such as pin trading. There were also opening and closing ceremonies complete with entertainment and fireworks.

Destination ImagiNation is a non-profit organization that provides educational programs for students to encourage creative problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking. Kids work together to plan, research and implement solutions to specific challenges while having plenty of fun along the way.

To qualify for the Globals, the girls first competed in the Regionals in March where they finished third in their division. At the Provincials in April, they won their division and are considered the top middle team at this level. Only the top 8-10 percent of the 12,500 teams registered qualify for the Global Finals.


Graduating Tigers

2010 Graduating Tigers with the AA blue banner

The 2010 graduating class is a special one.

I coached them in Grade 7 and knew then that this group would do great things. They worked hard, made an enormous commitment and in the end, achieved their goals. These girls demonstrated the character needed to succeed in life. They performed like champs when the pressure was greatest – this will no doubt prepare them for the times in life when they will face tough situations.

Congratulations to the Grade 12 Tigers. Thank you for all your contributions and commitment you made and success you achieved. You have again raised the bar of excellence in a program that has excelled for over 10 years. Thank you for being a huge part of our tradition that never graduates!

David Prissinotti
Athletics Director