KDSS Kinetic Knights
are second in the world

By Kanza Saleem


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The Kincardine District Secondary School Kinetic Knights include, back, Dylan Evans (L), Daniel Mahood, Stewart Clifford, Matt Pagnan, Sven Wehrmann, Dallas Watterworth, Alden O'Cain, Bradley Reid and Aaron Gordon; middle row, David Yun (L), Nikhil Deshpande, Cale Peister, Holly Xu, Lia Cavasotto, Sara Cavasotto, Tawny Robinson, Travis Shan, Mitchell Walker, Munaza Saleem, Janelle Taylor, Jake Pope; front, Kush Joshi (L), Greg Poulson, Aayushi Joshi and Mickey Collins. Absent are Kanza Saleem, Luke Splettstoesser, Nathan Fohkens, Andrew Fengler, Jen Taylor, Sanjay Nema, James Jackson, A.J. Adams, Danie Watterworth and Stephen Ritter

The Kincardine District Secondary School Kinetic Knights have gone all the way to the top. 

This past week, the robotics team attended the World FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Championships  in St. Louis, Missouri, and had a phenomenally-successful weekend. 

The team rose in the ranks of its division, and attained first place, which qualified Team 781 for the overall championship. 

The Knights progressed through the world semi-finals, but were defeated in the world finals. They brought home both a division win and a World Championship finalist trophy. Not only did they beat out some of the top teams in the world, but they are finalists in a competition which was attended by 352 teams. Internationally, there are 3,080 teams active throughout the world.

The Kinetic Knights were placed in the Archimedes division where they were ranked 46th at the end of two days of qualification matches. The team was picked by the No. 1 alliance on Saturday morning which consisted of Teams 177 from South Windsor, Connecticut, and Team 2016 from Trenton, New Jersey.

The alliance progressed smoothly through the quarter-finals, but was faced with a very tough match in the semi-finals. However, the Knights and their allies secured a win, and went on to win the finals in their division. This qualified them for the overall World Championship field called "Einstein" where teams would battle for the World Championship win.

On Einstein, the Kinetic Knights were prepared to take on a very strong alliance hailing from the Curie division. This alliance consisted of Teams 51, 968, and 987. In the first semi-final, the Knights won by a narrow margin of five points, and in the second semi-final, they won by a 33-point gap. 

This qualified them for the finals. The Knights and their alliance faced the Galileo division champions which consisted of Teams 111, 254, and 973. Unfortunately, due to a communication systems failure, the Knights were not able to control their robot during both final matches. 

In the end, the alliance was defeated, but came home with a finalist trophy, an honour only a few teams have ever seen. 

Overall, the Knights have brought home 10 awards, four of which are finalist and champion trophies - a true testament to the excellence in engineering and design of this year’s robot. 

The true champion of the team is Sven Wehrmann, who, as team captain, organized and designed the robot and construction this year, and who also controlled the robot through all four competitions. Without his hard work, the team would not be where it is today.

This success is a new beginning for the team, as it prepares to wrap up this season and get ready for the next. 



Luke Splettstoesser (L) and Kanza Saleem hold the celebratory cake with the trophies the Kinetic Knights brought back from St. Louis, Missouri

With such unparalleled success, the Kinetic Knights are proud to represent Kincardine on such a worldwide scale. The team appreciates sponsors Bruce Power and the Power Workers’ Union for their extremely generous donations to help make St. Louis a reality for the team, and to all the donors who contributed. 

The KDSS Kinetic Knights are proud of this year’s accomplishments, but next year, they hope to go bigger and better than ever before.

Bruce Power donated $15,000 toward the trip to St. Louis, while the Power Workers' Union donated $10,000. This leaves some seed money for next year's team.

For more information about the team, check out the website at www.team781.com. For information about the FIRST organization, check out www.usfirst.org.

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Monday, May 02, 2011