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Fundraiser Feb. 9 to support Comox Valley robotics students

On Thursday, February 9, members of the 7842 Navigators VEX robotics team are hosting a Burger and Beer Fundraiser at Cumberland’s Waverley Hotel to help fund travel to competitions. The fundraiser will feature live music from Ryder Hawkins, a silent online auction, a 50/50 draw, a toonie toss game and, of course, robot demos. Entrance is by donation.

“It’s pretty cool to see the robots in action,” says Shelly Stanchuk, a proud 7842 parent. “Come on out, have some fun and support local kids!”

The 7842 Navigators VEX robotics team is comprised of students from Navigate (formerly NIDES – North Island Distance Education School). For details on the fundraiser, visit the team’s Facebook page at or email Shelly at

Five teams of local Navigate students qualified for the VEX robotics provincials following a very successful showing at the Mid-Island Qualifiers January 21. Held at GP Vanier Secondary School, the competition comprised nearly 40 teams from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, including 11 teams from Navigate.

“It was a very special day for Team 7842 at the VEX event at Vanier,” says Navigate teacher and VEX robotics coach Stewart Savard. “Based on the number of teams province-wide that have now qualified for provincials, we’re ranked second overall. It’s our best result ever, so we’re pretty proud of this placement.”

Made up of about 30 students who are split into smaller teams of two to three members each, the 7842 Navigators design, build and program robots to compete in task-oriented game play. The objective of this season’s game is to get robots to pick up objects from one half of a 12-by-12-foot playing surface and place them over a barrier into their opponent’s area. At the end of the two-minute timed competition, the team that placed the most objects into their opponent’s zone is declared the winner.

Members of Navigate’s 7842 Navigators VEX robotics team at the mid-Island Qualifies January 21 at Vanier School.

The 7842 Navigators team is comprised of Navigate students from the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Qualicum and other local communities. Any student enrolled in at least one NIDES course and who is in grade nine or higher is eligible to be on the team. The Navigators meet regularly to build and refine their robots and strengthen their skills throughout the season.

“Robotics is all about teamwork and collaboration, so to get such great results is a real testament to our kids’ ability to come together as a group and support each other,” notes Savard. “I think it bodes well for our teams’ chances at the Provincials and, hopefully, the Worlds Competition in Kentucky.”

In that spirit of teamwork, members and parents alike are working together on fundraising initiatives to cover costs of upcoming competitions, such as the Waverley fundraiser February 9.

To find out about 7842 Navigators sponsorship opportunities, contact Shelly Stanchuk at


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