For students in Grades 7 & 8

The Great Bots of Fire program is designed for ALL students, Grades 7 & 8 who are interesting in participating in the field of Mechatronics Robotics. The students will be working using the VEX V5 robotics system.

This non-credit after-school program provides students the ability to build robots in a team environment, while learning a variety of valuable skills. While not a pre-requisite, the Big Bad Bot Builder program provides a strong foundation for entry into this program and extends opportunity to enter a competitive robotics environment through participation in local competition. The Great Bots of Fire program is a pre-requisite to the West Vancouver Schools Premier Robotics Academy, Grades 9-12 for all students.


The Ignite Your Passion program runs one day per week throughout the school year.

This program is fully subscribed each year. The day of the week will be determined later in the spring once all registrations are reviewed.

Time:  Day and time to be confirmed upon registration

Location:  West Vancouver Secondary School
Start Date:  Week of September 12, 2022
End Date: Week of June 19, 2023

Students interested in this program, complete & submit the Student Information Form. Once the teachers review the application forms & Assistant Tara Ledingham receives confirmation of student acceptance into the program, parents will receive communication via email to follow up with the applicable paperwork.

TeacherLocationCostPlease fill out form
Dr. Mahesh Chugani & Braydan PastuchaWest Vancouver Secondary School$2500 ($250 per month)Apply Here

Refund Policy: If a student withdraws, a fee total of $520 must be provided in order to cover the cost of the robotics equipment provided to the students.

Registration & Process for Selection

Registration is open.

Complete & submit the online Student Information Form

Immediately following the online submission of the Student Information Form, submit the student’s most recent report card.

If the report card is not yet available, please communicate this to Assistant, Tara Ledingham ( and then follow up with this current report card submission when available. Students will not be confirmed without the Academy Office receiving a copy of the recent report card.

This program is for those students who display the ability to listen, follow instructions, complete assigned tasks, and work well with others. As well, we work to create and sustain a positive, nurturing work environment for all students. We expect students to be responsible and respectful to their peers and their teachers.

*While this program includes students at two grade levels, this is a one-year program. If First Year students are eligible (e.g., grade level) and request to return to the program for a second year, the student must receive approval by the teacher to return. Confirmation will be communicated to parents by the Academy Office.


Todd Ablett

Todd Ablett

2015 – Teacher at West Vancouver Secondary School
2000 – 2015 – Began teaching basic robotics in his classroom

Realized that competitive robotics engaged students who were considering career paths that required a strong background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Provided education, instruction & coaching to over 70 students per year
Coached up to 20 competitive robot teams each year
Qualified and attended the VEX Robotics World Championships since 2007

2012 – Won the VEX Robotics World Championship title winning over teams from countries that included United States, Australia, Singapore, China and the United Kingdom


Dr. Mahesh Chugani

Dr. Mahesh Chugani is an Electronics Engineer

  • Worked as a Software Engineer at National Instruments (Austin, Texas)
  • Worked as Director of Support & Training at Momentum Data Systems (Huntington Beach, California)

Dr. Chugani is not only a West Vancouver Schools teacher, but also holds the following credentials:

  • Diploma, Electronic & Radio Engineering, Cusrow Wadia Institute of Technology, Pune, India
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Telecommunications, College of Engineering, Pune Inda
  • Master’s degree, Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
  • Authored many technical publications, along with two books
  • On the Educational Advisory Committee, Canada’s ICTC (Information & Communications Technology Council)

Braydan Pastucha

WVS Teacher
WVS Premier Robotics Academy Teacher


  • University of British Columbia — Bachelor of Education 2021
  • University of British Columbia — Bachelor of Science 2018
  • Specializing in a triple-major of chemistry, mathematics, and physics, my undergraduate work focused on communication of scientific concepts and applications in atmospheric science. This well-rounded understanding of different scientific fields has given me a diverse set of teachable subjects and an ability to connect material between classes, including applications using coding and scientific analysis of problems.


Daedalos Academy — Senior Coach / STEM Instructor (Sept 2016 – Present)

Responsibilities & Role Included:

  • Creating programs using LEGO and VEX robotics for summer camps, after-school camps, and in-school programs that focus on engineering, design, and coding principles in the ADST curriculum
  • Working with diverse age groups during the camps
  • Ensuring the quality of individual learning experiences
  • Working with teams on projects from creating the programs to implementing them with a team of coaches
  • Using problem-solving skills for classroom management, technology, and instruction
  • Coming up with solutions to problems or challenges

University Hill School — STEM Instructor (January 2017-March 2020)

Responsibilities & Role Included:

  • Developing a program using LEGO Education products in conjunction with the BC curriculum for Grades 2-3 and 4-5 STEM classes, with an emphasis on engineering and technology applications
  • Creating fun and engaging classroom experiences for the classes by using multimedia and experimentation in lessons
  • Coordinating & collaborating with teachers and school administrators to distribute information to parents

Sealy Tutoring — Senior Tutor & Centre Manager (May, 2017 – Present)

Responsibilities & Role Included:

  • Tutoring secondary students in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology, both individually and in group settings
  • Communicating with students and parents both learning materials and expectations
  • Maintaining and managing the drop-in center, including managing tutors and developing an enjoyable learning environment


Science World — STEM Communicator
Gearing Up! — Senior Coding Club Instructor