$30,000 sponsorship awarded to annual tech competition for teams of high
WATERLOO, ON, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - A high-tech "rumble" that pits
robots built by teams of high school students against each other is
getting major support from Union Gas, through a $30,000 sponsorship
announced today at one of the competition's regional events.
In the annual FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) run by FIRST Robotics
Canada, high school students team up with technology companies to build
5-foot, 140-pound robots to compete in high-intensity "robo-sports".
Volunteer professional mentors are assigned to each team. In just six
weeks, the teams of 25 students or more raise funds, design a team
"brand," and build and program robots to perform specific tasks against
competitors in regional events held in several provinces. FRC teams can
earn a place in a world championship, and this year, Ontario
participants can also qualify for over $16 million in university
The $30,000 Union Gas sponsorship, announced today by company
vice-president of engineering, construction and storage transmission
operations, Paul Rietdyk, is supporting the Waterloo FRC Regional event
and also includes grants to several student teams from across the
province. The regional event, which kicked off today at the University
of Waterloo, received $20,000 of the sponsorship.
As part of the sponsorship, last month Union Gas announced a $2,500
grant for the RoBenedicts, a team from Sudbury's St. Benedict Catholic
Secondary School that will be competing in the FRC Greater Toronto West
Regional competition at the end of March. A Union Gas mentor also
worked with the team.
"I can't think of a more exciting way to learn about math, science and
technology and business than by building a robot and then testing its
chops in this kind of high-energy showdown," Rietdyk said. "Union Gas
believes that nurturing these kinds of 21st century skills in today's youth is an investment in their future and
ours - and we're proud to support the FIRST Robotics Competition
through our sponsorship."
"The FIRST program inspires students, teachers and mentors to work
together as the students learn more about future careers in the
science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields," said Mark
Breadner, executive director from FIRST Robotics Canada. "We're
thrilled with Union Gas' generous sponsorship and its support of
individual teams through grants and mentorship. It shows a real
commitment to developing our next generation of leaders in science,
technology and business."
Union Gas works in hundreds of Ontario communities, including many in
the Waterloo/Brantford district. The company is committed to
contributing to the communities it serves by supporting direct and
indirect employment, offering energy efficiency programs, and helping
local organizations through sponsorships, charitable giving and
hundreds of volunteer hours. For example, in the Waterloo/Brantford
area, Union Gas has supported organizations including Junior
Achievement of Waterloo Region and Waterloo Region Children's Safety
Village. In 2012, Union Gas and its employees contributed $19,781 to
United Way Kitchener Waterloo & Area and $30,644 to Brant United Way.
About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission
and distribution company based in Ontario with over 100 years of
experience and service to customers. The distribution business serves
about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in
more than 400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern
Ontario. One of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013, Union Gas is a
Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $5.8 billion and
approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.
About FIRST Robotics Canada
FIRST Robotics Canada runs the FIRST program in Ontario and supports the
program in other provinces. Our mission is to inspire young people to
be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting
mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology
skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life
capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
We pursue this mission primarily through running high-energy robotics
competitions. For more information, visit firstroboticscanada.org.
SOURCE: Union Gas Limited
For further information:
Union Gas Limited
Andrea Stass, Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5005490
Cell: 519 365-1010
FIRST Robotics Canada
Mark Breadner, Executive Director
Ph: 416 453-6844