The 2015-2016 season will mark the eighth year of existence for the Queen’s FIRST Robotics Club. The team competes within an organization known as FIRST. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is designed to inspire high school students to pursue careers in science and technology. The main role of the Queen’s students is to mentor the high school students on the FRC team. The team consists of members from Queen’s Arts and Science and Queen’s Applied Science. The team works in partnership with industry mentors from companies like Transformix Engineering and Haakon industries.
Each team has the same 6 weeks to design, build and program a robot, to accomplish that year’s specific task. The high school teams work with mentors from industry and academia. Engineers from industry pass along their real world knowledge of design and manufacturing to both high school and university students, while Queen’s University students contribute their past experiences and practical knowledge to the team.
During the rest of the year there are many other jobs which must be complete to sustain the club. These jobs include fundraising, running workshops for the high school students, procuring sponsors and new industry mentors as well as participating in community activities to raise awareness about the FIRST program.
The goal of our club is to bring the positive influence of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics program to youth in Kingston. FIRST describes its goal as; “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.” This is accomplished by teaming up Queen’s University students, faculty and industry professionals to mentor local Kingston students to help inspire and get them excited about Science and Technology.