Raymond Brooks, Biz-Tech Reporter
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) hosts Robotics competitions across Canada and the U.S.
Robotics teams came from as far as Waterloo, Thunder Bay and Michigan to compete in the Ontario division event at Humber College.
One of the parents from Waterloo’s Team DAVE, Wesley Blankspoor, said that a lot of good happens behind the scenes.
“The chairman’s awards and others like the education component, the community outreach, engagement with STEM and student development. That means that’s an important part of the event that’s not front and center, but it is awarded and emphasized at the end of the day,” said Blankspoor.
The farthest traveled team was the Techno Trojans from Fruitport High School, in Fruitport, Mich., about 305 kilometres west of Detroit.
“Our teams are similar because all students are the same ages, learning the very same things, and facing the very same challenges,” said Joe
He said the team is well recognized and supported by 42 sponsors and 18 regular mentors.
“We are very close to a one to one ratio between mentor and student,” Hevert said.
The Trojans finished with a score of five wins and seven losses, and obtained the Jack Kamen Imagery Award.
Regardless of the results, the event managed to be collaborative and competitive by sorting teams into alliances to compete with total strangers and uniquely designed machines.
Another far-off team was Tiger Robotics from Thunder Bay’s Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute, which traveled to experience their very first competition.
Nick Wickman, the head coach of the team, said the four-student group arrived to challenge the competition, learn networking skills, and get a chance to meet new people.
“We are kind of limited by distance and we’re stuck having to be resourceful, and we have more limitations for sponsorship and getting community members involved,” Wickman said.