If the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology could pick an event that emulates its vision to inspire youth and young adults in the area of STEM, it would have to be the 2019 FIRST Robotics Canada District Competition games held on March 8-10 at Humber College.
From the opening ceremonies to the spirited 2nd half of the games, the whole event had a palpable energy and passion which extended beyond the Humber gym, seeming to exude from every member of the FIRST Robotics organization.
Clearly, this is an organization driven by its vision to see youth around the world excited and passionate about STEM. Which makes it even more thrilling to know that such an organization would pick Humber College and faculty as their partners to showcase the very passion, vision and talent which embody all its members from the president to elementary future STEM enthusiasts.
At the event, approximately 1,000 Ontario high school students benefited from exemplary coordination and event planning by the Community Outreach and Workforce Development, and our faculty of Applied Science and Technology at Humber College. Students, parents, and industry mentors were treated to the inaugural FIRST FRC event at Humber College's Athletic Centre that hosted the jam packed and energized group of stakeholders through 60 qualification round matches followed by elimination rounds. Award winners and Robot Team Winners can be found here.
Listening to some of the 4th year top team competitors Angela (Makeshift Robotics) and Adalia (SWAT - St. Mildred’s Women Advancing Technology) talk about their experience at Humber, both members were quoted as saying, “The Humber College venue was spacious, well organized, accessible & offered clean facilities for their teams to compete in.”
In addition to hosting the First Robotics Canada District Competition and in keeping with Humber’s commitment to developing strong community partnerships, the College also had the opportunity to sponsor 2 teams for this year’s events. 4th year team member Sukhman Bhatti from the NACI Robotics team stated, “We are so grateful to Humber & FAST for their financial support as it gives us an opportunity to hone our skills and additionally, by hosting the First Robotics Competition in Etobicoke, it helps change the culture of STEM in this area.”
Grantley Bleman, mentor of the ACCN Techtronix team expressed his gratitude to Humber & FAST for supporting their team by saying, “We’d like to specifically thank the Humber staff member Colin Buddin for his mentoring in fabrication and his time, ingenuity and patience because without him and the faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology we would not be successful.”
FIRST senior staff mentors Phil Homerski & Melissa Douglas expressed their appreciation for Humber & FAST in the following, “Because Humber & FAST engaged their alumni and student community so well, there was an unprecedented number of FAST alumni who came out to support the event. This was something which we haven’t seen at other locations where the competitions were held.”
Looking back on the event, Lynn VanLieshout, Manager of Community Projects, Community Outreach & Workforce Development, Humber College, had the following to say about her experience with the partnership, “It is our hope that in hosting this competition over the next few years, we will inspire local schools to become engaged in First Robotics’ varied opportunities at all grade levels and provide the opportunity for students to better understand the emerging career opportunities and educational pathways in engineering and technology.” In the words of FRC Director John Hobbins, “When it comes to enriching Student Learning, Humber College gets it right. Humber College provided the stage for students to work alongside expert industry mentors. As the mentors and students worked strategically with alliance robot team partners of 3 teams against 3 per match, they demonstrated their ability to collaboratively solve the game and NASA challenge called ‘Deep Space’. This enormously successful event provided evidence of the significant benefits experienced by all stakeholders when post-secondary institutions reach back to invest in high school students along their journey of enriched learning and exposure to career pathways.”
At FAST, we’re so pleased to see this partnership develop from our initial involvement through the sponsorship of a local High School robotics team to what it is today. It is clear to us that this early introduction to technology, and the strong emphasis on leadership skill development is still strongly aligned with our institutional values and program offerings. With our vast number of related programs in Robotics, Mechatronics, Engineering, Computer Technology and Design, the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology is well positioned to support the students engaged in First Robotics in their pathway to successful and rewarding careers.
Watch this video of high school teams compete at the Humber-hosted FIRST Robotics Canada District Competition 2019
“The Humber College venue was spacious, well organized, accessible & offered clean facilities for their teams to compete in.”
“When it comes to enriching Student Learning, Humber College gets it right. Humber College provided the stage for students to work alongside expert industry mentors.
- John Hobbins, FRC Director