Parel Vallei pupils come fifth in World Robot Olympiad

Pictured, from left, are Cody (Grade 11), Jarret (Grade 10) and Ayrton Williams (Grade 9).

Congratulations to the three Parel Valleiers who took part in the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) in Delhi, India in the last week of November.

Two South African teams made it through to the finals. The first team consisted of Jarret and Cody Williams, and the second team, Joshua Mockey from Hottentots Holland High School, and Ayrton Williams.

Previously these youngsters competed in First Lego League (FLL), but as they gained skill and knowledge they decided that they were ready for a greater challenge, and switched to WRO in 2015.

They were introduced to robotics by their parents, who also fulfil the role of coaches in an effort to promote and stimulate analytical and logical thought processes. Science, technology, maths, engineering and coding skills are also sharpened in this “learn-through-play” process.

Their 2016 journey started when they entered the regional WRO on August 13, (which was hosted at Parklands College in Parklands), where they qualified to go to the national championships held at Tshwane University of Technology on September 10. The competition at national level was very tough, but they came closer to their dreams when both SA teams qualified to go to the world championships in India.

The knockout rounds were held on November 26, where Cody and Jarret went through to the top 16. Unfortunately, Ayrton and his partner did not make it through. The final rounds were run on the Sunday where Cody and Jarret managed to finish fifth overall in their category: Robosoccer (the first four places went to Taiwan, Chinese Taipei, Russia and Greece respectively).

Jarret and Cody have been awarded national colours by Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) which is affiliated to SASCOC. Their goal for next year is to have two SA teams in the top five.

Cody wishes to pursue a career in mechatronics, Jarret wishes to become a software developer and Ayrton wants to enter the IT security sector and be an “ethical hacker”.

These talented Parel Valleiers founded the Helderberg Robotics Club. This club is a registered NPO with B-BBEE status in an effort to promote Lego Robotics in the Helderberg area. Like/share their Facebook page.