For those of you following the news, you may have heard of the wildfires in Northern Alberta that have devastated the district of Wood Buffalo including the Municipality of Fort McMurray. From what information is available to the public, we know that the residents of Fort McMurray were safely evacuated, however the damage to property is extensive and the fires continue to rage on.
In the FIRST family we are deeply saddened by events, and our thoughts an prayers are with the evacuees. In particular we want to offer our strength to members of our robotics family in Fort McMurray, Teams 4625 and 5597 of Father Patrick Mercredi High School and all the other robotics groups in the region. Know that we are thinking of you and your families and ready to offer our support where we can.
At the moment, the extent of damage in Fort McMurray is unknown and there is not yet a timeline for when affected families may be able to return, or whether they will be able to return. The evacuees may be displaced for weeks or months, and now more than ever they will need everyone’s support to get through this.
If you would like to help, the best way to do so is to make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross, who are mobilizing a massive relief effort. The Governments of Alberta and Canada will also be matching individual donations so your support will be magnified.
Please visit www.redcross.ca to make a donation.
Intimitrons, SKY-Net and Manning Robots had an opportunity to attend the second international STEM Conference in Saskatoon recently. While demonstrating their robot to thousands of eager students, there were many opportunities to showcase their talents with renowned speakers and senior industry sponsors. Two of the team members participated in the Authentic Application of STEM Curriculum speakers panel in front of leaders in education.
STEMfest focus on learning for development included a wide variety of topics from crop science, renewable energy to engineering education. Attracting some of the world’s best minds such as Dato Len, Minister for Advanced Education (Malaysia), Tatiana Anesbury, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Dr Hubert Gijzen, Director UNESCO Regional Science Bureau, the team were in the company of greatness.
The highlight for the teams was an opportunity to interact with David Wilson, VP, Academic Marketing, National Instrument (NI). NI donate millions of dollars towards FIRST Robots through research and development, ambassadors of youth and STEM, and subsidizing the Robo Rio, the brains of the robots, in order to allow all FIRST Teams the experience with cutting edge technologies.
Over 5000 high school and 4500 elementary students visited the exhibition. Our team members provided opportunities to learn about FIRST and drive robots! The robots even captured the attention of the New York film academy!