Robots and their teen designers take on the Ultimate Ascent at the Hershey Centre March 29 and 30

11th annual FIRST Robotics Competition Greater Toronto West Regionals

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Student teams representing 42 high schools from Ontario, the US and as far away as Singapore are poised for a fierce yet friendly two-day robotics competition this week in Mississauga.  Competitors aged 14 to 18 will match their Frisbee shooting, pyramid climbing, 140-lb robots in high-intensity robo-sports, in front hundreds of cheering fans at The Hershey Centre.

The FIRST Greater Toronto West Regionals begins March 29 and is part of a series of three Ontario regionals FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC).  Organized by FIRST Robotics Canada, the Ontario FRC regionals are sponsored by BlackBerry® and Hatch, and supported by a number of leading engineering and technology companies.

"Since announcing Ultimate Ascent as this year's FRC kick-off 10 weeks ago, teams all over the world have designed, built and tested their robots in preparation for their regionals," said Mark Breadner, FIRST Robotics Canada's Executive Director. "For more than a decade we've had great matches by amazing teams at our Toronto West Regionals.  All of us are looking forward to seeing the awesome work done by our FIRST students, teachers and mentors this year."

FRC challenges teams to raise funds, and develop their teamwork, project management and strategic thinking skills.  Experts mentor students as they learn to use cutting edge hardware and software to build and program robots to perform specific tasks.  In tournaments, teams cooperate with and compete against other teams, in the spirit of "coopertition," in matches that last two minutes.

"Canadian innovation begins with students," said Renata Rusiniak, Manager, Corporate Citizenship at BlackBerry.  "FRC ignites young people's interests in science and technology by showing them that, as a team, they can help to tackle and solve real-world problems in fun and interesting ways."

Real-world engineering experience
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Canada coordinates friendly competition programs for students aged 6-18, interested in science and technology, as part of a global network of FIRST organizations.  Guided by mentor-experts, students learn how to work as a team, approach issues and discover technology and engineering careers.

"The skills these students pick up and develop through FIRST competitions are exactly what we're looking for in our employees," said John Pearson, Global Managing Director, Hatch. "They are smart, creative and collaborate well when looking for a solution to complex problems.  FIRST is an excellent experience for their resume!"

Regional winners will be invited to FRC's World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, where they will vie for more than $16 million in scholarships to the world's leading universities in science, technology, engineering and math, including University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and MIT.

Other Ontario regionals took place in Oshawa and Waterloo this month.

Additional information about FIRST Robotics Canada and its programs can be found at www.firstroboticscanada.org.

BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Research In Motion Limited.


SOURCE: FIRST Robotics Canada

For further information:

Media Contact:
James Francis
FIRST Robotics Canada
James.francis@firstroboticscanada.org
519.851.4988