Saskatchewan Science Centre and IBM announce Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge

Over 20 volunteers to turn out to Engineer Robots with Imperial Community School Students as part of IBM's Centennial Day of Service global event

REGINA, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - The Saskatchewan Science Centre today announced that it has partnered with IBM and its subsidiary, ISM Canada, as part of IBM's Celebration of Service through which IBM  employees, retirees and business partners donate their time and expertise in communities around the world during IBM's Centennial year.

On June 15, the Science Centre is hosting the third of many robotics workshops planned for this year using special educational robotics kits and laptops donated by IBM and valued at $10,000. Volunteers from IBM, ISM Canada, and the Science Centre will lead today's robotics workshops for Imperial Community School students from Grades 6 through 8. Over the course of 2011, about 100 volunteers from IBM and the community are expected to participate in the program.

"The Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge workshop is a perfect fit for us, truly inspiring minds through science and innovation," said Saskatchewan Science Centre Executive Director Sandy Baumgartner.  "Our volunteers make learning fun and accessible, and they help the students see the possibilities for futures in science."

The Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge places special emphasis on reaching out to young people from First Nations and Aboriginal schools. "We're finding that our First Nations are under-represented in science and technology careers, and we want to help change that," said Hugh Hudson, IBM's Senior Location Executive for Saskatchewan. "The Robotics Challenge workshop is a way of opening career doors. Students become more aware of the possibilities, and we hope they discover that the experience of building a robot with one of our mentor-volunteers sparks their interest in learning more about future careers in technology."

In recognition of 100 years in business, the 2011 IBM Celebration of Service spans more than 120 countries where IBMers live and conduct business.

The Saskatchewan Science Centre offers over 20 curriculum-based workshops designed to supplement what educators are teaching, or to introduce new concepts using resources not available at every school.

The Saskatchewan Science Centre is located at 2903 Powerhouse Drive, Regina, Saskatchewan S4N 0A1 (Take Wascana Drive east off Broad Street, on the north side of Wascana Lake). Please visit us online at sasksciencecentre.com.

About the Saskatchewan Science Centre:  The Saskatchewan Science Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental educational facility with the mission of igniting scientific curiosity and innovation in Saskatchewan communities through interactive, dynamic and engaging opportunities. Our vision of the future, in fulfilling that mission, is inspired minds through science and innovation. The Science Centre is one of Saskatchewan's largest family tourist attractions with close to 4 million visitors since its opening in 1989.

About IBM:  For more information on the IBM Centennial, visit: www.ibm100.com.

About ISM Canada:  ISM Canada, (www.ismcanada.com) a subsidiary of IBM Canada Ltd., is a leading western Canadian information technology services company.  For more than 30 years, ISM Canada has offered a full range of innovative IT solutions to public and private sector organizations.

MEDIA ALERT:

Saskatchewan Science Centre and IBM announce
Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge June 15, 2011

WHO:  Representatives from the Saskatchewan Science Centre and IBM, Imperial Community School students from Grades 6 to 8, plus employee volunteers from IBM, its subsidiary ISM Canada, and the Science Centre
WHAT:  On June 15, the Science Centre and IBM will launch the Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge. Volunteers from IBM, the Science Centre, and their friends and families will lead Imperial Community School students from Grades 6 through 8 in building and programming robots.
  This initiative is part of IBM's Centennial Day of Service celebration through which IBMers, their families and friends round the world are volunteering in their local communities, helping with civic challenges and societal needs. IBM has contributed laptops and educational robotics kits valued at $10,000 to start the program, and the Science Centre is providing the facilities and working with schools on the program delivery.
  IBM is marking the 100-year anniversary (http://www.ibm100.com) of its founding on June 16, 1911 with several global initiatives to engage in new ways with business leaders, academia, clients, and local communities in the 170 countries where the company does business.
WHERE:  Saskatchewan Science Centre, 2903 Powerhouse Drive, Regina SK S4N 0A1
WHEN:   June 15, 2011 - Session begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs through 2:00 p.m.

Activity Background

Saskatchewan Science Centre and IBM have partnered to create Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge workshop to help students in grades 6 through 8 build and program robots, with help from volunteers drawn from Saskatchewan-based employees of IBM, ISM Canada (An IBM Company), and the Science Centre.

The Science Centre is delivering the program, placing special focus on working with community and Reserve schools to reach out to First Nations and Métis students. IBM has donated $10,000 worth of special educational robotics kits and laptops to run the software.

Close to 100 volunteers, including employees from IBM, ISM Canada, and the Science Centre, are expected to participate as Robotics Challenge Leaders, mentoring the students through the workshops this year.

IBM Executive Biography

Hugh Hudson

Hugh Hudson is an IT sales executive with special expertise in working with government and public sector clients.  Hugh joined IBM in 1992 and is currently the Senior Location Executive for Saskatchewan and Public Sector Business Executive.  He earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1981.

SOURCE IBM Canada Ltd.

For further information:

Collette Parks, Manager of Marketing & Communications
Saskatchewan Science Centre
Tel:  306.791.7917   Email:  cparks@sasksciencecentre.com


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