60 St. Andrew Street
Stratford, ON N5A 1A3
Phone: 519-271-4500
Fax: 519-273-7118

Principal: K. Mills
Co-Principal: R. MacSorley
Vice-Principal: S. Richardson

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Robotic Challenges

D&D Automation’s robotic challenge to Stratford Central Secondary School Engineering students provides rich learning experience.

The music was fast.  The smiles were infectious.  And the robots were moving.  And sensing.  And searching.  And responding.

For the second time in as many years, engineers from D&D Automation challenged grade 10 engineering students from Stratford Central Secondary School to a “Battle of the Bots”.  This year’s competition actually featured three separate challenges, including a maze, a colour sorter, and a series of increasingly complex lines that robots needed to follow. 

Students worked in pairs to design, build and program a single robot that could meet each of the challenges.  And they did it all in a week.  As each successive robot cruised through the challenges in the shadow of Vera, one of D&D’s flagship industrial robots, everyone was duly impressed by the creativity and ingenuity on display.

After visiting both D&D Automation and Clearpath Robotics in Kitchener this year, the students are well aware of the opportunities in the area for a challenging and exciting career in the engineering and robotics industry.

“I’m not quite sure what I want to do yet,” said Mackenzie Quigley, “but if I go into engineering, I would be interested in mechatronics and would like to end up someplace like D&D or Clearpath.”

Another student, Justin Vandersar, added “I’ve really liked robotics in this class. I’m good with my hands and could see myself doing something creative in the high tech industry.”

Opportunities like this are great learning experiences that allow students to interact with industry leaders and get a taste of what their work environment looks like.  It also provides an example of the solutions the pros can come up with based upon the experience of many designs.

And hopefully, it will make some of our extremely talented teens decide to return to Stratford after they finish their education.

Read the Stratford Beacon Herald account.

Mackenzie and Mikayla

Zev and Dylon

Cayla and Erika

the group