North Surrey Secondary's robotics team, Hephaestus, under the mentorship of teacher and lead coach Scott Smith, is the first B.C. robotics team to win the coveted Rookie All-Star award and advance to the World Championships.
Four robotics teams represented Surrey Schools well at the Western Canadian Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Calgary.
The event hosted 50 teams from seven countries and was held at Calgary's Olympic Oval, where the Surrey teams had the honour of being invited to perform the national anthem in the opening ceremonies.
The four teams – L.A. Matheson Secondary, Semiahmoo Secondary, Princess Margaret Secondary and North Surrey Secondary – advanced to the quarter-finals together, as an all-Surrey alliance.
To top off a successful three days of competition, the L.A. Matheson team took home the Judges Award, while Princess Margaret earned the Industrial Design award.
The North Surrey team, Hephaestus, won the prestigious Rookie All-Star award, thereby qualifying to compete at the World Championships in Houston Texas, April 19-23.
North Surrey's achievements not only mark the first time a B.C. robotics team has won the Rookie All-Star award, but the first time a team in B.C. has advanced to the worlds.
The team was mentored by Scott Smith (NSS teacher and lead coach/mentor), Julie Occleshaw (teacher and administrative coach/mentor), John Pinto (teacher and pit mentor) and Richard Smith (community mentor).