In 2010, KAST and the Nelson Tech Club joined forces with six Kootenay Boundry middle schools in holding the first annual Robogames.
Twenty-four students, ages 12 to 17 created the robotic entries which battled for robotic supremacy.
Lead by NTC President, Brad Pommen, the Nelson, BC Hackerspace shouldered the mentoring and guidance, along with assistance from many of the society’s directors. These early mentors focussed on the design, programming and assembly while youth built autonomous robotic vehicles using Lego Mindstorms NXT kits and Arduino-based rovers.
Attendance at the 2013 RoboGames was nearly 60 youth and adults. In 2012, there were over 50 attend from throughout the region. The 2014 event saw over 200 spectators and 30 participants.
Robo Emily and Seeker go head to head at the 2013 Robogames held at Selkirk College's Mary Hall.
RoboGames is designed to promote science and technology learning among our young community members by making science and technology fun, accessible and non-intimidating, a crucial early step toward encouraging the region’s young people to incorporate science and technology in their future learning and career plans, thus increasing the region’s chances of retaining technical talent in the longer term.
Robotics offers a unique way to engage youth in science and technology and is successful in doing so. One hundred per cent of participants surveyed after the 2013 RoboGames stated that they wanted to keep learning about science, technology and engineering. Seven out of ten respondents stated that they were thinking about a career in technology, computer science or engineering; almost half stated that their dream job was to become an engineer.
Today, RoboGames is offered by GLOWS at Selkirk College in partnership with the Nelson Tech Club with generous support from community businesses and organizations. NTC is a community organization for technology enthusiasts who gather to share ideas, knowledge, resources and opinions in a friendly and collaborative atmosphere.