Hundreds of high school students and the robots they’ve custom built will descend on Georgian’s Barrie Campus on March 7 and 8.
They are here to compete in the FIRST Robotics Ontario District event presented by Nissan Canada Foundation. It will be an epic battle that combines the excitement of a championship sporting event with the practical application of science and technology.
“Georgian is excited to host this competition for the fourth consecutive year because we believe it’s important to support, train and inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders,” says Lisa Banks, VP External Relations and Enrolment, Georgian College. “Each year the number of teams from Central Ontario grows and this year we’re thrilled to see six teams competing from Simcoe, Grey and Muskoka regions.”
What happens at a robotics competition?
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international non-profit organization, designed to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). In Canada specifically, more than 1,000 teams involving 20,000 students take part in FIRST programs.
At this competition, students work in teams to design, build, program and test their robots using a wide variety of skills like CNC machining, CAD, math, programming and welding. The experience is as close to “real-world” engineering as a student can get.
This year’s game is called INFINITE RECHARGE and alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish. Teams will be judged on game points, teamwork, engineering excellence, and entrepreneurial spirit for the awards ceremony on March 8.
Georgian’s event is one of 11 competitions taking place across Ontario this year. The award-winning teams will move on to provincial championships in April in Mississauga to fight for a spot at the world championship in Detroit, Michigan.
While at Georgian, teams will be invited to explore the college’s state-of-the-art robotics, electrical and computer labs. They will also make good use of machine shops, where the robots will undergo any pre- and post-battle repairs.
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