Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), has announced that the Government of Canada will invest up to $1.5 million for FIRST Robotics Canada. The funding will create opportunities for students in southern Ontario to participate in robotics competitions and real-world engineering challenges, encouraging them to look at science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields as potential study and career paths.
“Our government recognizes that to fuel business innovation, jobs and long term economic growth, young Canadians need to explore the benefits of pursuing an education or career in scientific fields,” said MP Carrie. “Today’s contribution will allow FIRST Robotics Canada to introduce more students to real-world science and technology challenges.”
FIRST Robotics Canada will use the funding to involve more high school students in robot-building competitions, with teams competing against each other in tournaments televised by the Discovery Channel. The organization will also establish its successfully piloted Junior FIRST Lego League, which targets students aged six to nine, and expand its FIRST Lego League, which targets students aged nine to 14.
“Our goal is to engage up to 1,650 new students in southern Ontario through participation in our interactive team-based competitive robotics events, over the duration of this two-and-a-half year project,” said Mark Breadner, executive director, FIRST Robotics Canada. “This investment will help us offset entry and travel fees for new school teams, ensuring higher access to FIRST programs by all youth regardless of socio-economic status. This will result in greater participation for our students.”
The investment is provided through FedDev Ontario’s Youth STEM Initiative, aimed at encouraging students in kindergarten through grade 12 to pursue an education or career in STEM fields.