All genders Grades 7 & 8 students eligible

A Competitive Team Robotics Program

The Great Bots of Fire is a competitive team robotics program that provides students the opportunity to explore various elements of mechatronics & robotics.

Please note that when students register and are accepted into the program, students work with the teachers on an assigned day and time, once per week.

Students Work in Teams

In this Great Bots of Fire Competitive Team Robotics program, students work in small teams to design, build, program, and test various robots using the VEX IQ system. Students will be participating in a year-long engineering design challenge in the form of a cooperative game.

Key Student Strengths Required

The program requires students to be able to work both independently and cooperatively with others. Due to the level of ongoing challenge, students are to be aware that they are to arrive to the program prepared to persevere, to be willing to take risks, to be okay with things not quite working out all the time, and to be open to learning from situations where errors occur during this year-long journey.

This program is for those students who display the ability to listen, follow instructions, accept feedback positively, and complete assigned tasks. We work to create and sustain a positive, nurturing learning environment for all students, so the expectation is that students are to be consistently responsible and respectful to both peers and adults.

Select Weekend Tournaments Throughout the Year

It is to be noted that in addition to the weekly session the student participates, the expectation for those who register is that they are also willing to show their learning by participating in a variety of tournaments throughout the school year on select weekend dates. The tournament sites are located in the Greater Vancouver area.

Please note that when there is a weekend tournament, the teachers will provide students who are registered for a weekend tournament the opportunity to work on their robots on the Friday evening prior to the tournament. More information will be provided to parents and students.

Student Volunteer Opportunities

With the many Mechatronics Robotics program levels that West Vancouver Schools offers, students in the Great Bots of Fire will also have the opportunity to volunteer in a variety of roles at secondary school competitive robotics tournaments. The purpose of encouraging our younger students to volunteer at the secondary school tournaments is to provide them with a chance to observe the older students in action which in turn is designed to motivate and inspire our younger students as they think ahead to future grade levels.

The Schedule

The Great Bots of Fire IYP Program runs one day per week throughout the school year on the following days:

Section A: Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Section B: Wednesdays 3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Section C: Thursdays 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

*Please note that there are ‘Select Weekend Tournaments’ occurring throughout the school year as well.

Applications are reviewed by the Robotics staff and then parents are informed through the Academy Office, the results of the application. Students who are confirmed for the program are informed of the Section (day/time) of the week.

Location:  West Vancouver Secondary School

Start Date: The week of September 11, 2023
End Date: The week of June 17, 2024

The Fees

The fee for the IYP Great Bots of Fire program is $160 per month x 10 months (September to June) for a total of $1600 per year.

Students NEW to the GBoF this upcoming year will also be required to pay for a VEX IQ Competition Kit which is $880. This is a one-time fee as the student is able to use the same kit over the course of 2 years (e.g., Grades 7 & 8).

For the 2023-2024 students RETURNING to the program (who already have the VEX IQ Kit from last year) will be required to purchase an Expansion Kit at $270.

TeacherLocationCostPlease fill out form
Braydan Pastucha & Jeffrey HuangWest Vancouver Secondary School$1600 per year
New $880
Returning $270
Apply Here

IYP Program Equipment Vision: To Leave a Positive Environmental Footprint

With the continued increase in the number of students participating in the school district’s Ignite Your Passion (IYP) programs, we require the purchase of a tremendous amount of equipment each year. Starting this school year, (2023-2024) we are moving to a model that is more environmentally responsible.  In other words, we want to reuse as much equipment as possible each year.

Equipment Process for RETURNING students for 2023-2024

Current (2022-2023) students who return to the program for 2023-2024 will continue to use the Kit that was provided to them when they entered the program. However current students will receive a Competition Upgrade Kit as part of the program fee. Additional robot kit pieces will be available for SIGN OUT as part of the program fee.

Equipment Process for NEW students for 2023-2024

Each student participating in the Great Bots of Fire program requires a VEX Kit. New students who are registered for the program for 2023-2024 will receive a VEX IQ Competition Kit.  If the student is new to the program, but already has a VEX IQ Competition Kit, the Robot Kit fee does not apply. Additional robot kit pieces will be available for students to SIGN-OUT as part of the program fee.

Registration & Process for Selection

Registration is now open.

Students interested in this program complete & submit the Student Information Form including uploading the student’s most recent report card. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application submissions are reviewed by the team of IYP teachers with confirmation to parents communicated via the Academy Office.

Parents will then be required to complete the applicable paperwork and provide a non-refundable deposit to hold & confirm the student’s spot. More information about this final registration process will be provided to parents from the Academy Office.

Year 1 & Year 2 Applicants

Students entering Grade 7 or Grade 8 each September are eligible to apply.

Please note that if a student enters the program in Grade 7, there is not an automatic acceptance/confirmation of this student into Year 2 (Grade 8).

IYP teachers approve (both returning and new) applicants each year.


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

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