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Recap by WEtech President and 2016 WEGLR Judge, Yvonne Pilon In 2015, Justin Trudeau was asked why it was important to have a Cabinet that was equally represented by males and females. His response to this question was EPIC. #BecauseIts2015. Building on this movement, I took to the stage this weekend at the Windsor-Essex Great Lakes FIRST Robotics Competition Regional to share a similar story and here it is! A special thank you to the crowd who joined me in shouting aloud “BECAUSE IT’S 2016“. When WEGLR Planning Committee Chair, Larry Koscielski, requested that this year’s Regional judging panel should reflect Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet decision with equal representation of males and females. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When Team 677 was asked by judges “What have been your challenges as an all girls FRC team?”, the team spokesperson responded “What challenges?”. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When NASA decided to sponsor its first Canadian FRC team that just so happened to be all girls Team 771. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When the world tells you can be anything you want and stereotypes don’t exist. Take for example Benjamin from Team 1305 who builds robots during the week and plays the cello in the Symphony on the weekend. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When we look at WEGLR team representation and see that we have 2 of the 12 all girls FRC teams in Canada. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When a rookie team with 50% female student and mentor participation can rank 13th of 52 teams at WEGLR and be selected as the Rookie All Star award winner and advance to the FIRST World Championships? Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When a young lady who knew nothing about programming can become the programming team leader and one of 2 finalists selected to compete for the FIRST Dean’s Award at the World Championships. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When Team 2386 robot Felix dropped the puck at an official OHL game and not the referee. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When geography and language is no longer a barrier. Take for example, Team 5883 travelling over 7500km and learning English just to join us at WEGLR. Why is this important? Because it’s 2016 When gumball machines no longer dispense gumballs. They dispense 3D printed FIRST Stronghold playing fields compliments of Team 4951. Why is this important: Because it’s 2016 When you’re tired of the same old fonts like Arial and Time New Roman. You decide to create your own unique font for your team’s logo like Team 910. Why is this important: Because it’s 2016 And, lastly. When Team 2200 spokesperson says that FRC gives you the experience to build your life. Why is this important? Because it`s FIRST A special thank you to everyone who joined us at WEGLR! See you all next year! All the best to those competing at Worlds including local teams Belle River @automatons4920 and Villanova @WiredCats5885!