Building robots to counter drop out rates: BMO Financial Group, Bell,
Bombardier Inc., CAE, Hydro-Québec and Vigilant Futures join forces to send
45 students to an international robotics competition

MONTREAL, Feb. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Youth Fusion is thrilled to announce that BMO Financial Group-Quebec, Bell, Bombardier Inc., CAE, Hydro-Québec and Vigilant Futures have joined forces to send 45 Montreal students to FIRST, an international robotics competition.

FIRST is a competition designed to offer young people an exciting and hands-on experience in science and technology. The objective is precise: students have six weeks to build a highly functional robot, capable of playing soccer, and worth $25,000. During this period, the students work with university experts and engineers, enabling them to expand their scientific knowledge. The robots will be under construction in Montreal until February 23rd, and the competition will take place in Toronto in April.

In its long history, FIRST has never hosted Montreal public high school students. Thanks to the support of the official partners: Mr. L. Jacques Ménard, President of BMO Financial Group-Quebec, Mr. Laurent Beaudoin, Chair of the Board of Bombardier Inc., Mr. Thierry Vandal, President and CEO of Hydro-Québec, Mr. Stéphane Boisvert, President of Bell Business Markets, Mr. Marc Parent, President and CEO of CAE, and Mr. Arvind Ramanathan, Director of Vigilant Futures, four robots are currently under construction by 45 youth from four different high schools: Honoré-Mercier (CSDM), Pierre-Dupuy (CSDM), Saint-Henri (CSDM), and Henri-Bourassa (CSPI). Moreover, Mr. François Michaud, Canada Research Chairholder in Mobile Robotics and Intelligent Autonomous Systems, and Mr. John Charlton, Special Projects Manager at Loyola High School, are part of an extensive group of mentors who support the teams.

Mr. Ménard, Chair of Youth Fusion's board since November 2009, is pleased to realize that the business community "responded positively to this opportunity, as this competition is an ideal platform to promote technological innovation, scientific fields and the educational success of youth."

Youth Fusion is a non-profit organization that mobilizes universities to counter drop out rates. Last September, Youth Fusion announced that all of Montreal's universities had agreed to join forces to encourage kids to stay in school. Their formula is simple: Youth Fusion sends university students, working as project coordinators, into high schools to implement projects that motivate teenagers to stay in school, and strengthen their school spirit and sense of belonging.

For this robotics project, Youth Fusion hired four university students - two from l'École Polytechnique and two from l'École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) - each student is assigned to one high school.

For further information, please visit:

SOURCE Youth Fusion

For further information: For further information: Gabriel Bran Lopez, Founder and Executive Director, Youth Fusion, (514) 657-7630,

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