Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hope Launches First Ever Robotics Olympiad
by Daniel Ton and Andrew Chan (HS 3-Loyalty)

Members of PHLUG Strike a pose as they get their Certificates of Appreciation

To encourage students to be innovative and use their problem-solving skills, the Hope Christian High School (HCHS) Robotics Team conducted the 1st Hope Christian High School Robotics Olympiad (HCHSRO) on February 18, 2014 at the preschool gymnasium.  FIRST Robotics Learning Center, Philippine Lego Users Group (PHLUG), Centro Escolar University (CEU), Adamson University and Malabon Science High School were all invited to take part in this event.
When asked about the preparations made for this event, David Samuel Ang, head organizer of the event said, “We started early November, invited students to join and we’ve been training them every Wednesday and Thursday until last week. We plan to have this every year.  It’s not impossible.”
Mrs. Jennifer Cruz and Mr. Cristofer Javier, their robotics coordinators, prepared this one-day event, hosted by David Samuel Ang and Isabelle Pimentel. The ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Dr. Cecilio Pedro, honorary chairman of the Board of Trustees, together with Principal Angeline Tan, Vice-Principal Grace Tan, HCHS Alumni Association President James Tan, and Vice President Helen Ng.  Johann Carta of the Robotics Team said the prayer, followed by opening remarks by Mr. Jemmry Velasquez, our Elementary English supervisor.  “This event culminates the month-long celebration of science and mathematics; this is science in action and mathematics in work,” said Mr. Velasquez.
Dr. Pedro gave his words of encouragement to the excited crowd. “This world is moving so fast. More and more people are investing in robots,” he told the audience. This was followed by an inspirational message from the principal, who encouraged the audience by quoting Dr. Seuss, “Think left, think right. Think low, think high. All the things you can think if only you try.”  She further added that “when they [the robotics team] create robots, they aren’t just doing it for themselves.   Here in Hope Christian High School, we don’t only have creativity, we have character.”  
The contest proper commenced shortly thereafter.  Six teams from Grade 8 to High 4, each having three members and a coach, assembled at the pre-school gym to prepare their equipment. The objective of the competition is to design a robot, program it and make it run through an obstacle course within the maximum time of 5 minutes. Each team will be graded according to how well the team’s robot cleared the obstacles.  Mr. Randolph Protacio, managing director of PHLUG, was the judge for this competition.
Amos Tan of the High 4 team felt privileged to take part in this Olympiad.  He remarked, “It is the place where I can stretch my creativity and analytical skills to the limit, while preparing myself for engineering college, and bringing honor to God and my batch in the entire process.”   Adrian Chester Uy of the Gr. 9-B team felt joining the event was worthwhile.  He said, “It was here were I learned basic programming and building robots.”
While the contestants were busy designing and programming their robots, the students who visited the event looked around to see the models, exhibits, games and promos that the guests have prepared. There was a viewing of big and amazing Lego displays made by PHLUG, and some of which were also contributed by David Ang as well.   Other participating organizations featured impressive interactive exhibits.
A highlight of the event was the fundraising activity called “Let’s Go Build Our Logo.” The aim of this activity is to collect as many Lego bricks as possible to create the largest HCHS logo made entirely out of Lego bricks. Several students contributed to this fundraising activity, hoping to support the construction of this humongous marvel for everyone to see.

The Olympiad closed with the High 4 team winning 1st place. The High 4 team is comprised of Bryant Young, Jasper Pe and Amos Tan. They are to be awarded on March 10, 2014.