The robots are coming back to Georgian’s Barrie Campus Athletic Centre on March 16 and 17. The FIRST Robotics Competition at Georgian College promises an epic adventure of innovation that includes 26 robots, built and programmed by teams of high school students, that combines the excitement of a championship sporting event with the practical application of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This year, three teams from Simcoe County are competing.
“We love hosting this event because we believe it’s crucial to support the next generation of scientists, engineers, technologists and changemakers,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “We’re thrilled that several teams are returning to our campus for this third annual competition.”
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international organization, recently announced the theme, parameters and goals for the 2019 robotics season. “FIRST Robotics Canada has been so impressed by the event at Georgian College,” said President of FIRST Robotics Canada, Mark Breadner. “We can’t wait for the community to come together again to celebrate this year’s robotics game, DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE. It’s going to be an incredible showcase of STEM skills in action.”
With the theme and rules now set, teams only have two months to develop custom, 120-pound robots to complete prescribed tasks. They will design, build, and test their machines using a wide variety of skills like CNC machining, CAD, math, programming and welding. They will also raise funds through community outreach and design a team brand. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.
In addition to getting points for achieving competition goals, judges will recognize teamwork, engineering excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit in an awards ceremony on March 17.
Georgian’s event is one of 10 competitions taking place across Ontario this year. Award-winning teams from these events will move on to provincial championships in April at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga to fight for a spot at the FRC World Championship.
While at Georgian, teams will be invited to explore the Barrie Campus’ state-of-the-art robotics, electrical and computer labs, as well as the new Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre. They will also make good use of machine shops, where the robots will undergo any pre- and post-battle repairs.
More than 1,000 people – students, competitors, coaches, industry leaders, and supporters – will attend the event. Approximately 100 volunteers are needed to ensure the competition runs smoothly between March 15 and 17. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit the FRC website.
Photo: A team of FIRST Robotics competitors working on their machine.