Spotlight on geekStarters: APEX Robotics

Spotlight on geekStarters: APEX Robotics

The APEX Robotics team in 2016 – their first competition year. Without these people, none of what APEX is doing this year would have been possible. Want to learn more about APEX Robotics? Check out this recent interview. What is unique about your team? Any memorable moments? While most robotics teams are based out of a particular high school, we are not tied to any specific school and we have students from all over Calgary, from schools such as Henry Wise Wood, Robert Thirsk, and Dr. E. P. Scarlett. This kind of independence provides us with freedoms that we otherwise would not have had – longer hours, simpler travel logistics, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Fundraising and recruitment are entirely managed by the team members with the help of mentors – not an overarching organization like is the case with most school teams. While it is a greater workload, it also serves as a learning opportunity for the students involved. One of the most memorable events for our team was qualifying for the First Robotics World Championships last season. As a team that had just competed for the first time, this was a momentous accomplishment for us. Not only that, but being in the same space as 600 other FRC teams was both thrilling and insightful. APEX had taken away interesting design ideas and team philosophies. What is your team’s favourite fun activity? What’s something your team does to bond? At the end of the build season, we hold parties and team bonding activities to celebrate the success we achieved together as a team. After our last season ended,...

geekStarter Community Highlights – February 2017

Young students at FMCHS robotics competition Two exciting events were hosted last month by Father Mercredi Community High School team in Fort McMurray. One was a VEX Robotics Tournament, world’s Northernmost VEX tournament, held on January 14. The winners were two of the school’s teams, which qualified for the North American VEX championships in Iowa April 4-8, 2017. The tournament was attended by First Lego League students as well, who participated in a programming Maze and Sumo match competition. The other event where the FMCHS teams spread their love for robotics, was the well-attended Grade 6 Open House Day on January 30.   OLS team designing their new project The past few weeks have been eventful for the OLS team in Canmore! They have been busy brainstorming and researching project ideas using design thinking methods, as part of the Berkeley Program. Recently, they converged on two topics: Degradation of plastics and Microbial Fuel Cells. It’s great how everyone, including the team’s mentors, can follow and contribute to the ideation and discovery process, which is all documented on Google drive. Excellent work OLS, and great job at keeping everyone in the loop!   OLS students using AMINO’s DNA Playground New bioengineering kits from AMINO labs are being tested by the OLS team from Canmore – with excellent results! After gaining some practice with the virtual bioengineer simulator, the team went ahead and used the DNA Playground to introduce a new DNA program into bacteria – which turned the bacteria pink! Designed for beginners with no prior experience in molecular biology, the AMINO equipment and kits are student-friendly and will help our new middle-school and high-school teams jump-start their journey in synthetic biology....