geekStarter Community Highlights – April 2017

geekStarter’s Robotics Workshop Our first robotics workshop took place in Calgary on April 9. Many thanks to our awesome speakers and panelists, and congrats to the teams for their presentations! Read more here.   geekStarter teams in First Robotics competition On April 5-8, teams Trappers, RoboMaidens and APEX Robotics competed in the First Robotics – Western Canada Regionals at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. This was a most exciting and fast-paced competition involving 50 teams from across the world. The competition consisted of a series of matches in which three-team alliances raced their robots to get their airships ready for flight. The better prepared their airship was at the end of each match, the more points the alliance would win. After a tough two days of matches, APEX Robotics, RoboMaidens, and Trappers finished their First Robotics season and took home new learnings from this amazing experience, as well as some very exciting results.   Updates from UAlberta Problem Solving Club Alberta Gold – the ACM-ICPC team which advanced to the 2017 World Finals – is currently training assiduously and takes part in 4-5 hour long practice contests every Saturday. These contests often involve other ACM-ICPC teams from across Canada, including other 2017 finalists such as the Pacific Northwest region champions from UBC. Keep it up! In preparation for the next season, the club recently held an outreach programming contest which gathered a total of 110 participants, including computer science teachers and 22 high-school students from the Edmonton area. Thanks to connections established by the undergrad computing science society from University of Alberta, local IT companies made prize donations at the event – a most welcome surprise and promising sign for the club’s future endeavors.   Ross Sheppard High-School team in Edmonton continued to work on...
Spotlight on geekStarters: Father Mercredi Community High School

Spotlight on geekStarters: Father Mercredi Community High School

Robotics enthusiasts from Father Mercredi Community High-School in Fort McMurray Want to learn more about the robotics team at Father Mercredi Community High-School? Here is what they shared with us. What is unique about your team?  Several things actually. We have students from grade 7-12 that are members of our RSports group. Seniors mentor the younger members during our regular meetings and through outreach. We are also committed to equal opportunity by providing all girls teams in the 3 levels of robotics we have.  The Senior Girls FRC (First Robotics Competition team) 5597 has had been a true inspiration for our female student population. What is your team’s favorite fun activity? What’s something your team does to bond? This may sound weird but we collect recyclables twice a week. All of us are required to help.  Despite the context of our meeting we still get to meet with everyone, grades 7-12 and collect the schools recyclables. We  do have fun and from this activity some of our strongest leaders have emerged. We meet every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and get to hang out and learn robotics-based things such as programming, CAD and fabrication techniques; competition has created the greatest bond within our teams. How does your team use social media? We have Facebook accounts for the entire robotics group https://www.facebook.com/fmcpn.ab/ Members  use Twitter, Instagram and sometimes snapchat. How would you describe your team’s project in 3 sentences or less? The projects are problems we have to solve through the use of Robotics, CAD/CAM, Coding and various Fabrication techniques to achieve our aims. Currently we have 5 Robotics projects in progress. What has been...

geekStarter Robotics Workshop Inspires Students

If you program a robot to be creative, who is more innovative – the human that built that robot, or the artificial intelligence (AI) itself? It’s these types of questions that are pushing boundaries in the world of robotics, and students with MindFuel’s geekStarter program showed this past weekend how excited they are to tackle the challenge of robots for the future. On April 9, geekStarter hosted a robotics workshop for two high school teams: Father Mercredi Community High-School, from Fort McMurray, AB and APEX Robotics, based in Calgary, AB. These robotics teams shared their projects, and heard from researchers and professionals pursuing engineering and robotics applications in their work. The event, which created a space for collaborative idea sharing, showcasing student work, and highlighting successes of the teams, inspired Albertan students to apply their skills and knowledge of robotics to a multitude of disciplines. Father Mercredi Community High-School has in fact four teams that compete in 4-5 regional competitions per season. Making its own contribution to the big robotics family at the school, each team collaborates with the others while building their own specific application at the same time. Their presentation highlighted key projects such as the Pegasus Robotic Arm, involving student programming and automation; a robot to collect and assess invasive aquatic species in the local community; and a dog-training bear robot to teach dogs safe responses in bear territory. The students had just competed in the West Canada – FIRST Robotics Competition in the previous couple of days.   The APEX Robotics team comprises students from multiple high schools in the Calgary area. They too brought their robot to FIRST Robotics regional competitions during this season. In March they competed...