For ten years, the Sandwich High School “Sabre Bytes” quietly went about competing in the FIRST Robotics competition that features 250,000 students from around the world.
This year was truly a banner year as the Sabre Bytes captured the Tennessee Regional Championship. As a result, they were invited to the World Championships in St. Louis, where 30,000 participants and spectators packed the Edward Jones Dome.
In July, WEtech accompanied the Sabre Bytes to the Indiana Regional Invitational (IRI), a very select tournament where only the best-of-the-best are invited to compete.
Despite the accomplishments of the Sabre Bytes, they remain the only high school robotics team south of London.
WEtech hopes to work closely with the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, local industry partners and community stakeholders to change all of that and get at least four or five high schools to adopt the program.
WEtech understands that the robotics program is more than just a game. It is an exceptional tool that helps build the tech-talent pipeline in the region, developing the next generation of workers and entrepreneurs for the innovation and technology sectors.
Furthermore, it is an excellent tool for local universities and colleges to not only attract more young people into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and careers, but it allows these institutions to identify and recruit the best STEM minds at an early stage.
“Think of it this way, every great NHL team has a great farm system and scouting system that identifies talent early on and builds relationships at an early stage,” says Irek Kusmierczyk, Program Manager at WEtech Alliance who travelled with the Sabre Bytes to Indianapolis. “I’ve spoken to local industry, and they get it. They see the potential of this program to fuel their companies well into the future”.