Teens help launch robotics contest
Published Saturday, January 8, 2011 9:36PM EST
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, also known as FIRST, kicked off its competition today.
The contest will see more than 2,000 high school teams from across North America compete.
"I think to participate in that competition, First Robotics, it shows them what they can do in science, and they see that in science, there's a lot of opportunities," said Laurent Beaudoin, chairman of Bombardier.
"They have mentors who are coming from Bombardier, CAE -- different big companies and universities...so they are not by themselves. They have an opportunity to learn from the best," said Xavier Guillot, First Robotics' Quebec regional director.
On Saturday, 300 teens from 14 Quebec high schools received their kits needed for the contest.
The kit includes the parts needed to build a sophisticated robot.
"I think we'll have a lot to contribute. We're not so good on the engineering part yet, but I think we'll work on it and we'll definitely come up with something great," said student competitor Jasmine Lau.
Students have six weeks to assemble their creations, with the final product presented in Toronto at the end of March.
This year's competition coincides with a special time for Bombardier – since Canadair was bought in 1986 and this year marks the 25th year the company has owned Bombardier Aerospace.
The company hopes the contest will help prepare budding engineers for the future.
"It's a really interesting area and everything. I'm just not quite sure if that's what I want to do, but I guess by taking this course I'll be able to find out if this is really for me or not," said Michele Day, a student preparing for the competition.