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!

geekStarter teams intermingled and collaborated on entrepreneurial exercises at geekStarter's startup workshop on December 2nd.

geekStarter teams mingling and collaborating at geekStarter’s startup workshop on December 2nd

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.

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.

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.

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 first time. With guidance from their mentors, the team deemed the project they were working on last year – an ovulation detection device for natural family planning purposes – as too ambitious, and they are  selecting a new project. It will either be something to break down fat that clogs sewage and drains, or a device to protect crops from freezing.

Last year, this team used design thinking to come up with a new project, which they will take to the 2018 iGEM competition. Now in their 5th geekStarter year, the team has set their bar high and wants to combine synthetic biology and robotics to improve the sorting of recyclable plastics.  The plan is to build synthetic biology constructs for tagging plastics, and sort the bio-tagged plastics with help from a robot.

Now in their second year with us, this robotics team will continue to grow their skills and build their various projects, most of which are intended for their own school community. This season, the team wants to improve the autonomous capabilities of the First Person View (FPV) drone and the Remotely Controlled (RC) vehicle they built last year, with the goal of gathering data and visual information from around their school. They also plan to design and build a humanoid robot that can do a signature move representing their school’s spirit.

An expansion of the Biodesign club started two years ago at Ted Harrison school, the new design thinking club will focus on three problems, two of which are new to them while the third is a continuation from last year. The students will explore the problem of osteoporosis and possible treatments involving synthetic biology. They also want to build a robot to help with cleaning up public spaces. In addition, the team will continue last year’s project on removing pesticides from water, which will give new team members the opportunity to collaborate with older team members and alums and learn from them.