Trip to Electronic Arts

The Programming 11 and 12 classes made a special trip to Electronic Arts in Burnaby to see some of the best video game programmers in action. Here are some comments from the girls:

Visiting Electronic Arts
Visiting Electronic Arts

This trip definitely changed my view of programming and showed us a realistic lifestyle of a programer. It was very useful because it would be impossible to know whether or not we want to work as a programmer if we don’t know what kind of work they do, or where they do their work. EA definitely provides their programmers a very dynamic workplace. I really believe that everyone should balance their work with other activities so I loved the EA facilities. It even made me want to study more programming since it proved to us that if we work hard enough we can create interesting games just like the programmers there. Thank you for this opportunity and I really enjoyed it!

I thoroughly enjoyed the field trip and it definitely changed my view of programming. I realized that computer programming as a job, isn’t just sitting at your desk, programming everyday. You also get to take breaks in between. The schedule is very flexible because their aren’t any set hours. I was also surprised on how team building was emphasized throughout the presentation. I would look forward to working as a group, rather than as an individual. After this field trip, I am now even more intrigued about what we are going to cover next. I was amazed by how one sports game like NHL 12 was assembled by so many groups of people and how the graphics of the games were so detailed and real life. EA is more than a stereotypical programming office. The environment was incredible because you are surrounded by people that you have common interests with and you have access to many of its facilities like the beach volleyball court and the huge gym. They really make you feel comfortable and home-like because you are able to do whatever you want.

I thought the tour of EA Games was very informative and fun. It really persuaded me to realize that a career in programming is not only sitting at a desk all day writing code. I could see myself working in the programming field and I could definitely see myself working at EA.

GearBots Robotics Challenge

On April 20, Yorkies in Gr. 6 and 7 participated in the GearBots Challenge held at the Skills Canada Provincial Competition in the TradeX Centre in Abbotsford.

The event was a pilot robotics challenge that consisted of 5 missions (and 2 bonus missions) that the students had to accomplish. The overall general theme was “In the Restaurant,” and sample missions included: putting dirty dishes (indicated by Duplo/Lego blocks) in the dishwasher (a designated corner of the playing field). While doing this, students had to decide what attachments to build, and how to program the robot to accomplish these tasks.

The interesting thing about this competition was that it was not based on how many points you achieved. Instead, the purpose of the challenge was to provide an opportunity for students to work together in engineering teams to creatively solve problems. In other words, it was more about the process rather than the outcome.

The girls should be commended for their efforts, as many were new to this type of challenge, and they did not receive any prior formalized instructions. Congrats to Nicole, Ann, Ariana (Grade 7) and Louise, Michelle N., Jan, Jessica, Rachael and Michelle C. (Grade 6). Watch the video slideshow of the day’s events below.

Sven Braune
Technology Coordinator