FIRST Robotics Canada

FIRST Robotics Canada

April 21, 2008 15:05 ET

Ontario High School Team Wins World Robotics Championship

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - The "Simbotics" team from Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines, Ontario was the top ranked team and lead team of a three school winning alliance at the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships held over the weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. "Simbotics" went undefeated in all matches in Atlanta and placed first among 344 high schools there. The other two teams that made up the three team winning alliance were from Greenville, Texas and Sterling Heights, Michigan. Some 1,500 FIRST Robotics teams in eight countries competed this year for the right to attend the Championships.

The Simbotics team is sponsored by General Motors of Canada and has been participating in FIRST Robotics competitions since 2003. This marks the end of a very successful year for Simbotics as they also won the 2008 Greater Toronto Regional, the Waterloo Regional and the US Midwest Regional Competitions. In FIRST Robotics Competitions, high school students are given six weeks to design, build and test a 130 pound robot within certain size, weight, cost and design guidelines using a common set of parts. Students representing 16 high school teams and 5 middle school teams from across Canada earned the right to compete in the FIRST World Championships in Atlanta.

"Our six years as a sponsor of FIRST Robotics teams in the Niagara region have been very rewarding, but this weekend's World Championship win really takes things to a whole new level," said Stephen Rourke, Director of Engineering for General Motors' St. Catharines Powertrain Operations. "The purpose of the FIRST program is to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. Defeating NASA-sponsored teams and being told by Larry Page, the founder of Google, that you make good robots is inspiring not just to the students, but to everyone involved with the team," said Rourke.

Canadians were also well represented in the awards ceremony in Atlanta with Mark Breadner, a Vice Principal with the Toronto District School Board, taking home the prestigious Woodie Flowers Award which recognizes an outstanding engineer or teacher who best demonstrates teaching excellence in math, science and creative design. In addition, Samantha Tan, a high school student from York Mills Collegiate, won the Youth Coach Mentor Award for assisting the St. Clemons middle school team as they participated in the FIRST LEGO World Festival with 81 other teams from 24 countries. Some 10,600 FIRST LEGO teams from 38 countries competed this year for the right to attend the Championships.

"Canadian students have shown that they can compete with the best in the world in science, engineering and technology," commented Gord Homer, Chair of FIRST Robotics Canada and a member of the FIRST worldwide Board of Directors. "Our goal is to broaden the reach of FIRST's programs across Canada to assist students in developing the science, engineering, technology and teamwork skills that are absolutely vital to success in today's knowledge-based global economy."

FIRST Robotics Canada appreciates the generous support of their many sponsors. Some of which are:

General Motors of Canada Ltd., RIM, Province of Ontario, Toyota Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Imperial Oil Foundation, NSERC, Bell Canada, Discovery Channel, Kingbridge Centre, MDA Space Missions, Rockwell Automation Canada, Ontario Power Generation, Bombardier Aerospace, Donald F. Hunter Foundation, Christie Digital and many others.

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