Spotlight on geekStarters: Robert Mayall

Spotlight on geekStarters: Robert Mayall

Robert Mayall is a dedicated member of the geekStarter community, mentor to Notre Dame Collegiate team, and co-founder at FREDsense Technologies. In this photo, he provides feedback to teams at geekStarter’s 2017 High School Jamboree in High River. 10 Quick Questions for Robert How would you describe yourself in one sentence? I am a scientist and entrepreneur interested in combining technologies to create new products and solutions. What do you love the most about your work/school? I love being able to work at FREDsense because there’s a team of incredible people working together to solve problems that affect people’s lives. What is your best accomplishment so far? My proudest accomplishment so far has been seeing the FREDsense technology grow from an idea into a product that we can actually hold and have tested with partners around the world. What is something you are working towards right now? I’m working on finishing up my PhD right now so that I can focus full time on FREDsense. How do you like to spend your downtime? I like to spend time relaxing by cooking spicy meals, working on my car or trying my hand at woodworking projects. What is something you can’t imagine your life without? I couldn’t imagine my life without my phone, as it plans my entire life. What is one thing that people will be surprised to hear about you? Just how much I love spicy food. I may have a bit of a problem… What is something you are afraid of? I’m always afraid that my latest idea will be my last, even though that hasn’t been right yet!...
Spotlight on geekStarters: Innovations Club at Ross Sheppard High School

Spotlight on geekStarters: Innovations Club at Ross Sheppard High School

Flight mission – Photo of Ross Sheppard team members taken by their FPV drone Check out this recent interview with the robotics team from Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, and learn about their plans for the 2017-18 season and beyond. • What is unique about your team? Any memorable moments? We have the freedom to be creative and build hands on electronic projects. A recent memorable moment: During our recent open house, we were showing off some of our drones. One of our team members tested the speed of one of the drones by flying it as fast as he could towards a teacher’s stomach. Important side note: The teacher was willing and prepared for the test! Unfortunately, the tester had forgotten to change one of the settings and the drone didn’t stop. Instead, it bounced off the teacher’s stomach and then the wall, returning to its flight in the hallway unscathed!! There was a crowd of parents and prospective students watching and they all thought it was part of the act!! It all turned out very funny and very dramatic! • How would you describe your team’s project in 3 sentences or less? We utilize 3D printing and open source materials, such as instructions, code and 3D printing files, to build and program self driving racing cars, drones, and rockets with self deploying parachutes. • What has been one highlight of working on your project so far? Capturing aerial footage using our drone. • What is your team’s biggest challenge? Troubleshooting code! Our self driving cars, and the ball following car didn’t work right away. The open source code needed to be de-bugged before it worked. Once the self driving car is operational, we will continue to modify the code and...
Spotlight on geekStarters: Notre Dame Collegiate Syn Bio Team

Spotlight on geekStarters: Notre Dame Collegiate Syn Bio Team

Recent photo of team mentor Emily Hicks and 6 of the 20 student team members in their school’s lab Check out this recent interview with the synthetic biology team from Notre Dame Collegiate in High River, and learn about their plans for the 2017-18 season and beyond. • What is unique about your team? Any memorable moments? Something that makes our team unique is that it has an age range of grades 7-12, and we built our own incubator from scratch last year using materials found at the Home Depot. Some of our favourite moments from the past few years include the iGEM lab workshops in Lethbridge, as well as the Jamboree that we hosted at our school last spring for synthetic biology and robotics teams to present their projects and get to know each other. • What is your team’s favorite fun activity? What’s something your team does to bond? One way we bond as a team is by eating lunch together before our meetings start. This gives us time to share ideas and get to know each other better. • How does your team use social media? Our team currently does not have a social media account, but we do plan to make an instagram and facebook account for 2018. • How would you describe your team’s project in 3 sentences or less? We are currently researching two different ideas: plant antifreeze and breaking down fatbergs. Our fatberg bacteria would work to breakdown “fatbergs” that block drains and major sewage systems which is becoming problematic in many areas around the world. Our plant antifreeze bacteria would protect Alberta crops from flash frosts; this idea...

Meet geekStarter’s 2017-18 middle-school and high-school teams

On December 1st, geekStarter welcomed its 2017-2018 middle-school and high-school teams. We are excited to welcome them and wish them good luck on their projects! Father Patrick Mercredi High School: RSports Robotics Group – Fort McMurray The team is building several robots to help with problems from their immediate community. One of their robots will be used as tackle dummy at practices of their school’s football team. Another robot will help in inspecting steep surfaces which people cannot reach. The team will also continue to work on the bear decoy robot they started last year. The bear robot is used in training dogs to scare away real bears at remote work places. Other robotics projects focus on new forms of transportation, and underwater research. The team also plans to compete in various competitions such as FIRST Lego League (FLL), VEX Robotics, and FIRST Robotics. Lethbridge High School iGEM Team – Lethbridge Based at University of Lethbridge, and recently returned from the iGEM 2017 Giant Jamboree with a silver medal for their SynthetINK project, the team will soon start recruiting new members and launch its 2018 iGEM activities. This team has been the longest on geekStarter’s high-school roster, and we look forward to working together again in the 2017-18 season. NEXUS Robotics – Calgary This team works out of Protospace and brings together students from several high schools from across Calgary. Registered to participate in the 2018 FIRST Robotics competition, the team’s original work will use autonomous behaviour algorithms to make their remotely-controlled robot capable of detecting and avoiding collisions. The team will participate in First Robotics regional competitions where they will test their robot and its autonomous control mechanism, and learn how to improve it. Notre Dame Collegiate Synthetic Biology Team – High River Betting on the experience and skills accumulated over the past two geekStarter seasons, this team has big plans for 2018; they will participate in the iGEM competition, for the...
RebelBio: For Aspiring Entrepreneurs in Life Sciences

RebelBio: For Aspiring Entrepreneurs in Life Sciences

  Do you feel a strong urge to commercialize your project or research into something that the world needs?  RebelBio, the world’s first early-stage life-sciences accelerator is seeking applications from ambitious scientists and entrepreneurs for its 2018 programs. RebelBio will invest up to $250,000, along with extensive business and scientific mentoring during a three-month long program, which will take place in London from January 8th to April 8th 2018. For an overview of the program, visit this link. To apply, go here...
Spotlight on geekStarters: Chris Isaac

Spotlight on geekStarters: Chris Isaac

Chris Isaac – member of ULethbridge iGEM team and dedicated geekStarter mentor – shares tips for designing successful bioengineering projects at the Lab skills workshop held at University of Lethbridge in March 2017   10 Quick Questions for Chris How would you describe yourself in one sentence? Something along the lines of a jack of all trades and a master of none: picking up the skills I need to know as I go. What do you love the most about your work/school? Having recently begun my Master’s at the University of Lethbridge, I most enjoy the freedom associated with studying at a higher level. While you have objectives that need to be met in your research program, it’s also possible to enjoy the full support of faculty in pursuing additional academic projects even if they don’t perfectly align with your supervisor’s laboratory goals. What is your best accomplishment so far? Most recently, I had the good fortune to collaborate with wonderful people on the Lethbridge Collegiate iGEM team while working on a fantastic project. As a result of our efforts, we were nominated for several awards at the international level. I’m very proud of our team and the part that I played in helping us to that success. What is something you are working towards right now? There are always several irons in the fire, but there are two really cool things happening right now. The first is my academic research into picking apart disease pathways that are common to both Alzheimer Disease and Cancer. The second is a personal research project wherein I develop software to address biosecurity concerns in order to keep...