Photos (Source: NIDES): (Top) Among the 11 teams from British Columbia advancing to the VEX Robotics World Tournament are NIDES 7842F (back row, burgundy tees) and 7K (front row third and fourth from left, black hoodies). (Bottom) Alliance of 7842F and 7K competing at provincials in Delta 2 March preparing to start their playoff match that would advance them to the VEX Robotic Worlds.


Two Comox Valley Schools robotics teams competed strongly at the VEX Robotics Provincials in Delta, B.C. on March 2nd, earning them each a spot at the World Tournament. NIDES 7842F and 7K were among 40 teams to compete at the provincial tournament, a qualifier for the world competition that takes place in Louisville, Kentucky, from April 24th to the 27th.

This is the third consecutive year for a team from NIDES to compete at the world level in the seven years the program has been operating. For 7K, a new independent team comprised of secondary students from Mark R. Isfeld, it is their first year.

“We are very proud to have won a spot at Worlds with our Valley partner team 7K,” said Steward Savard, coach for the NIDES teams. Advancing on is clear evidence of what students in the Comox Valley can achieve in the fields related to robotics and programming.”

This year, 18 teams from the school district competed in VEX tournaments – 12 from NIDES (includes four teams based in Nanaimo), five from Mark. R. Isfeld and the independent team – all vying for the chance to advance by competing at the regional and provincial level. Five Comox Valley NIDES teams advanced to the provincials along with 7K. The Isfeld Ice teams performed very strongly with one team missing by a small margin to advance.

“They have had an excellent season,” added Savard.  Teaming with them [7K] gave us a lot of confidence going into the playoffs on Saturday.”

In total, 11 B.C. teams will compete at Worlds among approximately 580 teams representing 35 countries. In 2018, NIDES earned the Build Award for Engineering in their division of 90 teams. A second NIDES team finished 31st overall.

Savard acknowledged that his teams could not get as far without the unwavering commitment from parents.

“Our parent group has consistently made a difference in what we can do and what we can achieve.

NIDES students are already preparing for their April journey with fundraising efforts including bottle drives and seeking community support. Details will be shared with the public when plans and dates are set for their activities. To find out how you can support VEX Robotics tournament participation for our Comox Valley students, contact Steward Savard by email at

Comox Valley Schools are a learning community that embraces diversity, honors relationships and prepares all learners for a changing world.  A core element of our vision is inclusive and responsive community engagement between the Board of Education and our public education partners.


Mary H. Lee

Manager of Communications & Community Engagement, Comox Valley Schools