First Place for WE FIRST Club Mentors
By Agnes Chick | April 18, 2013
Two teams of local high school students, mentored by Western Engineering’s FIRST Robotics Mentorship Club, won top spots at the 11th Annual Greater Toronto West Regional FIRST Robotics Competition held in Mississauga, Ontario from March 28 – 30.
The First Robotics Competition (FRC) is one of the biggest science and technology events in Ontario, hosting more than 1,000 enthusiastic high school students from around the world.
“The WE FIRST Club allows Western students to show their leadership potential by managing large groups of scientifically motivated high school students to complete an engineering task within a budget and tight deadlines,” says Eugen Porter, a Technical Specialist in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Western University and founder of the WE FIRST Robotics Mentorship Club.
This year, the WE FIRST Club mentored students from Oakridge Secondary School, London Central Secondary School and Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School, providing assistance with the engineering and business aspects of the high school teams.
The rookie team, named Team 4814, with students from Oakridge Secondary School and London Central Secondary School, competed against 45 teams in the intense three-day competition and won first place. They were also given the Rookie All-Star award as the best new team in the competition.
Team 3756, made up of students from Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School, also had great success, reaching the semi-finals at the competition. They also competed in the Waterloo Regional from March 21-23, where they won silver.
Both Team 3756 and Team 4814 have qualified for the FRC World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri from April 24 – 27 and have the opportunity to compete for more than $16 million in scholarships at some of the world’s leading universities.
“Through WE FIRST, Western Engineering students are able to put their theory to work by mentoring and teaching the high school students proper engineering practices to construct a technical piece of equipment to perform challenging tasks,” says Porter. “The students have done a fantastic job promoting engineering to the local high school students.”
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization developed to inspire students to pursue careers in the fields of science and technology. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) allows high school students to team up with mentors and companies to build task-focused competition robots using cutting-edge hardware and software. Each year a new game is introduced and students are given six weeks to build a five-foot, 140-pound robot from scratch to compete in high intensity robo-sports. This year’s game, Ultimate Ascent, challenged students to build a robot to throw Frisbees into three different goals.