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High school robotics competition comes to Barrie Campus

High-stakes, high-energy robotics competition is coming to Georgian College next spring



In partnership with registered charity FIRST Robotics Canada (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), Georgian is hosting a qualifying district round in provincial “robo-sports” competition, where high school competitors have their eye on district, Ontario, Canadian and even world titles.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is the highest level of such competition offered by FIRST.

High school students team up with local employers and some of the world’s best technology companies to build gigantic robots from scratch in only six weeks.

Then they take their five-foot tall, 140-pound robots on the road to competitions across Ontario, including the one planned for Georgian’s Barrie Campus in March 2017.

“Georgian is delighted to host such a premier competition,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian College president and CEO. “We believe that students learn best through a combination of theoretical and hands-on experience. The FIRST district competition is sure to attract some of the best and brightest of our local high school students, as well as teams from across the province, with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

With bragging rights at stake for communities, schools and the companies that support them, robotics takes on a pro-sports experience. The FIRST competition will combine the excitement of sport with the rigours of science and technology.

Under strict rules, limited resources, and time restrictions, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

Throughout the process, students learn from a variety of working professionals including engineers, academics, and entrepreneurs, they build and compete with a robot of their own design, learn and use sophisticated software and hardware, and compete and co-operate in alliances and tournaments.

Ultimately they have an opportunity to earn a place at the world championship and qualify for over $12 million in college scholarships.

Georgian joins Nipissing University, the University of Windsor, Ryerson University, Durham College, the University of Waterloo, the University of Western Ontario and McMaster University in hosting 2017 district competitions. The district championship will be hosted by the City of Mississauga at the Hershey Centre.

The FIRST competition complements Georgian’s renowned engineering technology programs West-Moynes said. These include Mechanical Engineering Technology, Power Engineering Technology, and Electrical Engineering Technology, among others.

Discussions are ongoing with Lakehead University and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development toward the goal of offering expanded engineering programs between the two institutions in the future.



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